Trial Over Nextel Trademark Begins
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 | Comments

A lawsuit over whether Sprint has abandoned the Nextel trademark began April 11.

The case began in 2016 when Stephen Calabrese, owner of Nextel World, filed a trademark application for the Nextel name and a black and yellow logo that was very similar to the original Nextel logo. Around this time, Nextel World began marketing and selling products under the Nextel name.

The application was originally refused by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in 2017 because of its similarity to the existing Nextel trademark. Nextel World argued that Sprint had abandoned the trademark in 2012 when it announced that it was shutting down the Nextel network. Additionally, Calabrese argued that Sprint had not used the Nextel trademark in five years, making them abandoned under Florida law.

At that point, Calabrese and Nextel World began working with Retrobrands, a company specializing in reviving dead brands. Retrobrands then filed an application for the Nextel trademark and also filed an application with the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) to cancel Nextel’s trademark, arguing that it was abandoned.

In 2018, Sprint filed a lawsuit against Nextel World and Retrobrands, alleging trademark infringement, counterfeiting and cybersquatting. Sprint also filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction against the two companies to stop them from continuing to market and sell products under the Nextel name while the court’s continued the lawsuit. The court denied that request for an injunction.

Nextel World and Retrobrands have also filed a countersuit against Sprint, alleging torturous interference.

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