Members of the original USFL are suing FOX in an attempt to block the network from relaunching the football league this spring.
On Monday, a group comprised of past USFL owners and executives called the “The Real USFL, LLC” filed an official complaint in a California court to prevent FOX from using the USFL name, along with any original logos and team names from the defunct league that operated from 1983 to 1985.
All eight teams in FOX’s new USFL — Michigan Panthers, New Jersey Generals, Philadelphia Stars, Pittsburgh Maulers, Birmingham Stallions, Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers and Tampa Bay Bandits — have taken names from the original USFL.
Via Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the lawsuit called FOX’s USFL reboot “an unabashed counterfeit.”
“Fox could have easily started its own league with new teams, but instead chose to take the goodwill and nostalgia of the original league without the permission of the people who actually created it,” attorney Alex Brown said in a press release, per Florio “Fox can’t dispute that the ‘Real USFL’ marks are recognizable and valued because they’re using them and purposefully confusing its league with the original. Rather than do the right thing, Fox has chosen to try and bully the prior owners into submission. That’s not going to happen.”
The USFL, which held its inaugural draft last week, is currently scheduled to return with the Generals facing the Stallions on April 16 in Birmingham, Ala.