Coyotes' name change, from Phoenix to Arizona, faces complications

Feb. 6, 2014 at 3:08 PM
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PHOENIX, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The NHL Phoenix Coyotes, who next year will become the Arizona Coyotes, are dealing with a conflict over their new name, the team said.

Tony Fioretto, of Phoenix, has already registered the new name with the state and is seeking federal copyright protection, the (Phoenix) Arizona Republic reported Thursday.

Fioretto has previously registered trade names with the state that give the impression of having connections with local sports teams, including "Phx Suns," "Phx Cardinals" and "AZ Diamondbacks," state records indicate.

Fioretto dropped his state registration for the Phoenix Open golf tournament after the Thunderbirds, organizers of the event, sued him in 2013, the newspaper added.

"The Coyotes have long been aware of the attempt by a party to illegitimately profit from its new name, and have been addressing the issue," Coyotes spokesman Rich Nairn said.

"It's analogous to cyber-squatting," said Thunderbirds attorney Andrea Stone. "When domain names first started coming out, people would run out and register for names like Coca-Cola, thinking they (the named firm) would have to buy it from them."

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