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Don Garber: MLS still intends to trademark Cascadia Cup

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MLS commissioner essentially tells reporters that MLS is worried that supporters might sell rights to name without league approval.

courtesy of ECS

The fight over the Cascadia Cup trademark doesn't seem to be heading toward a peaceful end anytime soon. Commissioner Don Garber told reporters that the league still intends to go through with its trademark application, despite the fact that the Northwest supporters groups have banded together to file for it themselves.

Speaking at the MLS SuperDraft, Garber also seemed to indicate that the league wants to control any potential commercialization of the trophy which was jointly created well before the Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps or Portland Timbers entered the league.

Although Garber admitted the league has not "done a good enough job communicating with fans," he also stopped well short of backing down from any legal battle. He also acknowledged that the league has yet to actually meet with supporters.

"[MLS can] ensure that it’s controlled. Prospective fan groups, in theory, could offer that trademark to a competitive sponsor," Garber said. "They can take that trademark and sell it to a promoter. They can produce merchandise that’s not merchandise that we would want associated with our teams or with our league. There are so many things that go into intellectual property management.

"We’re very confident that by communicating with [Cascadia supporters] better and just talking about what our plans are that they’ll be pleased that we’ve got their interest and the interest of the league in mind."

This is surely far short of what supporters were hoping to hear. Since MLS first made public its application to trademark "Cascadia Cup" in Canada, the supporters groups have revealed their own efforts. They've gone as far as creating the Cascadia Cup Council and have already filed their own trademark application in the United States.