LA Gear challenging LA Chargers trademark

Chargers helmet StubHub Center
Aaron Doster, USA Today Sports

If the apparel company LA Gear has its way, the Los Angeles Chargers may have to rebrand for good. On the heels of the team officially announcing it is moving from San Diego to Los Angeles, there’s been a steady stream of news come across regarding what this means.

First off, the Chargers will be playing at the 30,000-seat StubHub Center in Carson for the next two seasons. Secondly, their lackluster attempt at a new logo was met with widespread criticism.

Not a great start to this whole thing, right?

Well, it now appears that the Chargers’ application to trademark “LA Chargers” is being challenged in court.

Per the Southern California based non-profit Voice of San Diego.

“Unfortunately for the team, its “LA Chargers” trademark application ran into an issue. On Dec. 20, LA Gear, the ‘80s-era athletic apparel company, filed a Notice of Opposition with the Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board related to the apparel portion of the “LA Chargers” application, on the grounds that it conflicts with LA Gear’s trademarks, and is likely to cause consumer confusion as to the source of the goods.”

As the report notes, “likelihood of confusion” has been the core principle behind trademark infringement claims brought to the Patent and Trademark Office in the past.

In reality, such a claim needs to pass through several legal hurdles in order to be considered legitimate by the government. Though, considering LA Gear itself has been around since 1979 and has brand recognition behind it, it seems that at least that one huge hurdles has been cleared.

If the office were to rule in LA Gear’s favor, it would force the Chargers to do one of several things. It could decide to continue fighting the issue in court. It could seek a potential deal with the apparel company, much like the LA Galaxy of MLS might have done years back.

Heck, the Chargers could decide that this is now the best opportunity to rebrand its organization. That has been bandied about in the past.

Nevertheless, this is most definitely something to keep an eye on.