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FC Tampa Bay acquires trademark to use Rowdies name

TAMPA — FC Tampa Bay will unveil a new name and a new look Thursday.

The professional soccer club, which completed its second season in the fall, will announce it has acquired the trademark to use the Rowdies name at a news conference on Thursday.

It marks the successful end of a three-year legal battle between the team and the Dallas-based retro sports apparel company Classic Ink, which owned the rights to name of the former Tampa Bay NASL franchise.

On Thursday, the franchise also will unveil a new logo that transitions from the existing shield logo to a retro look that includes the Rowdies name. Rebranding of the team's website, Facebook page and Twitter account also will be announced. New team merchandise will be immediately available.

The club was introduced in June 2008 as the FC Tampa Bay Rowdies, but Classic Ink filed a trademark infringement suit against the team and its parent company, Citrus Ventures, in Texas Northern District Court in April 2009 claiming that the team was using a trademark it owned. FC Tampa Bay removed all Rowdies references from its identity in October 2010.

After this season, which ended with a 1-0 loss to Minnesota in the first round of the playoffs, FC Tampa Bay owner and president Andrew Nestor said the club would continue to work toward obtaining the Rowdies name in the offseason.

"It's something that takes a while," Nestor said at the time. "We're still working toward a resolution, and it's not completely up to us. Those things aren't completely 100 percent in our control, so you do what you can over time."

FC Tampa Bay acquires trademark to use Rowdies name 12/14/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 8:28pm]
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