The St. Louis Rams have taken steps to defend their new Los Angeles name by filing additional trademarks. The new filings include the terms, “LA Rams” and “Los Angeles Rams.” They already had two trademarks for “Los Angeles Rams” filed in 1973 and 1995, but the new trademarks cover additional ground such as downloadable software, downloadable computer games, cell phone covers, mouse pads, cornhole board games, and football helmets.
The most strategic move here is not protecting mouse pads, but covering the “LA Rams” mark. In the initial filing they didn’t declare the first use date, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were able to find marketing materials from the 70’s to justify a first use way before 2016.
This might be a move to gain control of LARams.com through an eventual UDRP. That domain is currently in a Pool.com In Trust account, which holds the domain assets for the well known registrar. Pool is known for having deep pockets and putting up a vigorous defense when they are involved in UDRP disputes.
However, even the fastest response to the “LA Rams” trademark filing by the USPTO will not cement their naming rights prior to the start of the 2016 season where the Rams plan on playing in Los Angeles.
Before the next season begins I think they’ll use their existing trademark filings to pressure the owner of LosAngelesRams.com into giving up the domain. I also think they’ll engage with well known domain investor, Adam Dicker, who owns Rams.com. Buying that domain now makes the most sense for starting fresh in such a large market.
My ultimate prediction: they’ll build their brand, and their domain around the “Rams” name, and they’ll have control of Rams.com before their first game of 2016.