Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brooklyn New Yorkers: Did Four U.S. Trademark Applications Reveal New Name of Nets?

It’s possible that 4 U.S. trademark applications have revealed the new name of the New Jersey Nets when they move to Brooklyn in 2012: The Brooklyn New Yorkers.

In 2005, the Nets announced plans to locate the team in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn (one of the members of the ownership group is rap mogul and Brooklyn native Jay-Z; the majority owner is Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov).

Possible names for the team included the Brooklyn Nets and New York Nets. However, 4 U.S. trademark applications were filed on September 30, 2010 in the names of James Stevralia and Joseph Voyticky. Individuals with these same names are associated with the law firm Pepper Hamilton, as are the agents handling the trademark applications. These applications are not in the name of the owner of the Nets or a related company.

Here’s one of the proposed logos as per the trademark application:

To access the trademark applications, go to, click on “Search Marks”, then click on "Word and/or Design Mark Search (Structured)", enter “Brooklyn New Yorkers” (in quotes) and then click on any of the 4 applications.

You will see that the “Filing Basis” is indicated as 1B. That just means that the mark was not used in the U.S. at the time the application was filed, but that there is an intention to use the mark.

According to NetsDaily (, the NBA requires a team to advise of a name change 2 years before the change, but it doesn’t require a team to state what the new name will be. As well, under an agreement with the Empire State Development Corp., the new name must include either "Brooklyn" or "New York".

The Nets have not confirmed the change. If the team is in fact rebranding, the Brooklyn New Yorkers name is an understandable choice. By adopting this seemingly redundant name (a bit like the Montreal Canadiens), they are trying to position themselves as New York’s team. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim did the same thing in an effort to position themselves as more than just Anaheim's team.

As well, the Nets don't exactly have a winning tradition, and a change of name may help the team shed its losing image.

One sure way to become New York’s team, though, is by winning. Just ask the Mets. They were New York’s second team behind the Yankees until Mookie, Darryl, Dwight, Keith, Ray and company did their thing.


Daniel Gilbeau said...

The Brooklyn New Yorkers sounds like a great name and like you mentioned the Nets have not had any kind of success to worry about the tradition of that name.
Thanks for the scoop Eric!

Eric Macramalla said...

As long as they don't change their name to the Clippers everything will be fine.

Erik Pelton said...

This is quite interesting if it is indeed the name the Nets are considering using. If this name and these application are indeed associated with the current ownership of the Nets, I believe that the applications may have issues (or problems) related to (A) proper identification of the applicant and (B) a true bona fide intent to use the mark in commerce by the Applicants. And if these applications are not associated with the Nets, the Nets may have priority and other issues with the owners of these applications. I believe a similar situation arose regarding the NATIONALS name a few years ago when the Expos moved to Washington.

Eric Macramalla said...

Agreed Erik - this may become a bona fide mess