Judge in Indianapolis puts off trademark suit against CFL Colts

May 17, 1994|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Sun Staff Writer

A federal judge in Indianapolis yesterday put off a decision on the NFL's request for a preliminary injunction that would block Jim Speros from calling his Canadian Football League team the Baltimore CFL Colts.

Judge Larry J. McKinney told attorneys for both sides in a hearing on the trademark rights case that he must first decide whether he has jurisdiction in the matter. He said he would issue a decision on jurisdiction by early June.

On April 29, the NFL, NFL Properties and the Indianapolis Colts filed a civil suit in federal court in Indiana seeking injunctive relief and unspecified damages against Speros, who owns Baltimore's expansion team in the CFL. At that time, the NFL received an order for expedited discovery on the merits of the case.

Speros' law firm of Venable, Baetjer and Howard asked the judge to vacate the order and will file briefs by Friday seeking to have the case dismissed by the court on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and for what it calls improper venue. Speros wants the case heard in Baltimore.

On March 1, the Colts filed suit in federal court in Baltimore for declaratory judgment over rights to the name and requested expedited discovery on jurisdiction here. The NFL has moved for dismissal of that case.

Addressing yesterday's hearing, George Pappas, Speros' lead attorney, said: "The significance is the judge decided he had to determine whether or not he was going to exercise jurisdiction over the case in Indiana before deciding the NFL's further request for any sort of relief in Indiana."

NOTES: CFL Colts 1994 cheerleading/dance team tryouts will be held beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday at Doubletree Inn At The Colonnade, 4 W. University Parkway. Participants may register in advance for $5, or at the door for $10. To preregister, send resume, photograph and check to CFL Colts Community Relations, Memorial Stadium, 1000 E. 33rd St., Baltimore, Md. 21218. For details, call (410) 554-1010. Preferred attire is black leotard and hose.

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