The XFL unveiled its new logo on Wednesday. On Friday, the media and commerce firm Togethxr issued a cease and desist letter over trademark concerns, a company spokesperson told Front Office Sports.
Soccer star Megan Rapinoe warned in a tweet Thursday that Togethxr — a company co-founded by her wife, Sue Bird — would “be cookin up a response to the Cease and Desist and an ENTIRE new brand ID.”
Both Togethxr and the XFL share a very similarly designed “X” in their respective logos.
“Togethxr and its co-founders have worked tremendously hard to build a platform that uplifts women in sports and culture,” Togethxr said. “We were disheartened to see the announcement of the XFL’s new branding and logo, which has striking similarities to our own.
“It’s our mission to weave representation and equality into all that we do, which is why we’ve issued a legal notice to the XFL highlighting our concerns. We will continue to protect the important work we’re doing.”
Togethxr has a head start with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It filed an initial trademark application last April and received an initial response on the application in December.
The company — which also counts snowboarder Chloe Kim, soccer star Alex Morgan and swimmer Simone Manuel as co-founders — has used the logo for months before the XFL’s trademark application filed on Monday.
“That gives them priority,” said Zakari A. Kurtz, founder of Sneaker Law Firm. “Now the next question is how ugly and messy will this get?”
Messages left with the XFL were not immediately returned.
The last major trademark dispute in sports was between Cleveland’s MLB team formerly known as the Indians and a roller hockey team over the use of Guardians. The baseball team announced its Guardians rebrand in July, which followed a lawsuit filed by the Cleveland Guardians roller hockey team.
The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount in November.
While the XFL is a league and Togethxr is a media company, Kurtz said they are both sports-related and applied for many of the same trademark classes.
“That’s a good signal that they are similar,” Kurtz said. “The fact that they are [seeking trademarks] in the same classes doesn’t bode well for the XFL.”
The XFL’s assets were purchased for $15 million by a group that includes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dany Garcia and RedBird Capital in August 2020. While the league was expected to relaunch this spring, the debut of the third iteration of the XFL was pushed back to 2023.