Potentially massive news regarding the future of Chivas USA, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office received two trademark applications last month from "Chivas Guadalajara Licensing LLC" out of Carson, California.
The trademarks are for two names and logos, for Los Angeles SC and Los Angeles F.C., respectively. According to public database records from the USPTO, the company applied for separate trademarks on January 17, 2014.
Under the "goods and services" descriptions, both names have the following summary:
Educational services, namely, providing SEMINARS, CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS in the fields of SOCCER; Entertainment in the nature of soccer games; Entertainment in the nature of SPORTS AND SOCCER games; Organizing community sporting and cultural events; Sports training services
Additionally, a second trademark application was filed with Los Angeles SC with this "goods and services" description:
Baby layettes for clothing; Belts; Berets; Cap visors; Cloth bibs; Ear muffs; Football boots and studs therefor; Gloves; Hats; Headbands against sweating; Jackets; Pajamas; Pants; Sandals; Scarves; Shirts; Shorts; Slipper socks; Slippers; Soccer shoes; Socks; Sport stockings; Sports caps and hats; Sports jackets; Sports jerseys; Sports over uniforms; Sports pants; Sports shirts; Sports shoes; Sweaters; Sweatshirts; Swimwear; T-shirts; Waterproof jackets and pants; Woolly hats; Wristbands
Entertainment and apparel for sale? Sounds like what pro soccer teams do.
While there are some common elements in the logos for Los Angeles SC and Los Angeles F.C., stylistically they are considerably different. The Los Angeles SC logo is a black shield with a swooping red cross dividing it into four parts. In the cross it says "Los Angeles SC" in white. In the upper left-hand quadrant is a gold star, the upper-right has a gold tower, on the bottom left is a gold lion, and the bottom right is a bear, also gold. The lion bears resemblance to the lions on the Chivas USA crest, while the bear looks just like the one on the state flag of California.
In contrast, the Los Angeles F.C. logo also has the colors of black, red, and gold, and the same basic elements, but the design is quite distinct, with a stylized black eagle above a red lion and black bear, all in front of a red tower, with "Los Angeles F.C." on top. Gold accents run along the outside of the shield, and a soccer ball sits near the bottom of the crest.
If Chivas Guadalajara Licensing LLC is indeed affiliated with Chivas USA owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes (it's worth noting that Chivas USA has a similarly named company in official documents, Chivas USA Enterprises LLC), then this could be the first big step in rebranding Chivas USA.
Despite repeated assurances in the past by Vergara that Chivas USA would not change their name, and constant speculation that the club would be moved to a new location outside of the Los Angeles region, a move like this to secure two possible names for the team on a legal basis may be an indication of two things. First, the club does need an image change in order to attract (and retain) fans in the local region, as the cachet of the Chivas brand has not had the intended effect. And second, that the team will remain in Los Angeles even with struggles on and off the field in recent seasons.
Obviously as we find out more about this story, we will pass the information along to you.
Thanks to the tipster who alerted me to the trademark filings.
What do you think about this news? Which logo do you prefer? Leave a comment below!