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The Sonics Haven't Quite Returned to Seattle. Neither Have Their Trademarks.

Coupla quotes yesterday about who owns the Sonics’ trademarks

The Sonics haven’t returned quite yet.

And neither have their trademarks.

When owner Clay Bennett moved our beloved team to Oklahoma City, he took the basket of SEATTLE SUPERSONICS trademarks with him. In an agreement that settled the City of Seattle’s lawsuit intended to prevent the move, Mr. Bennett’s Professional Basketball Club, LLC, promised to return the marks to Seattle if a new owner brought an NBA-authorized team here that played in a renovated Key Arena. (Post discussing the agreement here.) Once those conditions are met, all the new owner has to do is request a transfer.

Things are looking good, but those things haven’t happened yet. That means fans who buy Sonics gear in the the euphoria of getting our team back presumably — and unwittingly — will profit the guy who caused our heartache. D’oh!

KING-5 TV interviewed me yesterday in a story about this odd twist.

My advice? Not that you asked, but wait to buy your Sonics gear until the purchase is complete and Oklahoma City transfers the trademarks back to the city where they belong.

Posted on January 23, 2013 by Registered CommenterMichael Atkins in | Comments1 Comment

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Reader Comments (1)

What immediately comes to mind are all of the "bring back the Sonics" items that have been sold downtown in the last year or so. While not all of them directly use Sonics trademarks, I've noticed quite a few that do. I could be wrong, but my guess is that the people distributing the shirts aren't paying licensing fees to Clay Bennett. Do you think he could make a valid claim for dilution against those using the marks on "bring back the Sonics" gear?
February 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan A. Johnson

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