David Beckham's Inter Miami could be set to change their name after losing a key battle in their legal dispute with Italian giants Internazionale - just weeks before their Major League Soccer debut.
Internazionale claimed that the term 'Inter' was synonymous with them, and filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against MLS.
A report on Law.com revealed that Inter Miami have had the first of two key arguments thrown out by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Monday.
Attorney David Winker said that Internazionale overcame the threshold of 'likely confusion' and believes Inter Miami will now have to change their name.
The report said: “The USPTO found that MLS’ claim that there are a number of clubs around the world that use Inter in their name - SC Internacional of Porto Alegre, Brazil, Inter Nashville FC, Inter Atlanta FC, FC Inter Turku (Finland), NK Inter Zapresic (Croatia), Inter Leipzig (Germany) and Inter de Grand-Goave (Haiti) - did not meet its burden to show that MLS has valid proprietary, or ownership, right in the name, Inter."
While Inter Miami were founded in 2018, the Miami New Times report that Internazionale had in fact applied to make 'Inter' an exclusive brand in the United States back in 2014.
This legal dispute is one in a long line of disruptions Beckham has encountered since founding Inter Miami. The club have faced various issues over stadium location and construction, ranging from high demands to buy land to promises that a new high school will be built at the club's complex. Recently, arsenic contamination was found on the site that their new stadium will be built.
Inter Miami are due to kick off their maiden MLS campaign next month with games away at Los Angeles FC and D.C. United, before playing their first home game against LA Galaxy in Fort Lauderdale. Whether they'll be called Inter Miami come the start of the season is unknown.