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The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) has filed a case for a declaratory judgment in response to the complaint made by the Buffalo Beauts Hockey Team, a subsidiary of Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which has operated the team. On June 25 2019, the Buffalo Beauts sent the NWHL a cease and desist letter to restrain or prevent them from using their mark. Further Buffalo Beauts also asked to destroy all merchandise in possession of NWHL.
In a complaint filed on June 30 2019, before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York the League requested the Court to rule that the league is permitted to use the name and logo under the terms of a licensing agreement between the NWHL and Buffalo Beauts. The League also prayed to declare that no infringement took place through this action.
The cease and desist letter of Buffalo Beauts Hockey indicates that infringement of trademark placed by NWHL. Trademark infringement is a violation of the exclusive rights attached to a trademark without the authorization of the trademark owner or any licensees. As per the version of the NWHL, they were permitted to use the mark and logo through a license agreement. If it is proved that NWHL possesses the authority to use the mark, then there will be no issue of infringement.
Buffalo Beauts Hockey asked NWHL to restrain distribution of marketing materials of name and logo of Beauts, and social media posts also. Beauts provided the league two days to cease their work, in the failing of which the league will face legal actions. The Buffalo Beauts are a professional women’s Ice Hockey Team, in the city of Buffalo, New York. The team was established in the year 2015 as one of the four founding franchises of the NWHL. Relying upon the license agreement between Beauts and NWHL, the league is arguing the case.
The agreement says that NWHL and BBH have granted each other perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free sub-licensable licenses to use one another’s trademark. The agreement contains that the use of the Beauts Marks is subject to BBH approval which shall not be unreasonably withheld and delayed.
The NWHL claimed that they are authorised to use the “Buffalo Beauts” marks and “Beauts” marks but BBH is continuously denying the same. This issue may cause a disturbance in the future of the League.