How much money does a North Carolina-based sports team need to get its name changed?
A North Carolina team called the Panthers has filed a federal lawsuit claiming it is owed more than $100 million for being branded as a North Carolinian team.
The lawsuit filed Friday alleges that the name and logo of the team are trademarked in North Carolina and that it is in violation of North Carolina’s trademark law.
The suit seeks $100,000 per year from the team, the team’s owners and the team itself.
Panthers owner Steve Bisciotti, who owns the team and is the team president, has been in contact with the team about the lawsuit.
Bisciotto said the team had no comment on the lawsuit, and he has asked the North Carolina Department of Commerce to expedite its trademark applications.
The team is scheduled to open its season Oct. 3 in Charlotte.
The team was originally named the Panthers from a name used by the team owners and players in the 1970s.
It changed its name in 1996 after it lost a bid to host the 1984 Olympic Winter Games in St. Louis.
The name was changed to the Panthers in 1997 after it won the championship in the first round of the NBA Finals.
The team is owned by the owners of the Charlotte Hornets, the NBA’s second-largest team behind the Dallas Mavericks.
They paid $1.6 billion to buy the team from the NBA in 2014.
The suit is the latest in a series of trademark lawsuits involving sports teams in the U.S. The National Football League has filed more than 20 lawsuits alleging the use of the NFL logo violates its trademarks.
The NFL has not commented on the pending litigation.
The NBA also has filed trademark lawsuits against the owners and teams of professional football teams in New York, Florida and Texas.