No matter what Bill Foley winds up calling his Las Vegas NHL expansion team, he will have learned a valuable lesson: It’s a lot more complicated to get the naming rights and trademark for a sports team than just creating a clever name.
Las Vegas attorney Mark Tratos, who has spent 35 years dealing with sports and entertainment law, empathizes with Foley. He understands the challenges in today’s world with the Internet in trying to secure domain name rights as well as trademark and copyright rights for a team.
“It’s a lot more difficult now,” Tratos said. “You’re competing with people you don’t know who are trying to secure the domain name for themselves so they own it and you have to come to them. I think (Foley) has seen that with some of the names he was considering.
“It’s one of the most frustrating things, trying to secure names and images. One thing that has complicated his approach is he publicly stated his desired names and people went in there and grabbed the domain names to variations of those names. I’m sure he’d like to do things more privately but that’s not so easy to do.”