The National Football League won another round in court this week when U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson denied Jim Speros' motion to hear the trademark rights case over use of the name Colts in Baltimore.
Nickerson instead granted an NFL motion to stay the entire Maryland case until the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago rules on Baltimore's appeal over the preliminary injunction.
He also denied Speros' request for an Aug. 8 trial date.
Speros, owner of Baltimore's Canadian Football League team, filed for declaratory judgment in Maryland federal court last March 1 seeking to gain the legal right to use the name Baltimore CFL Colts.
He subsequently was sued by the NFL, NFL Properties and the Indianapolis Colts for alleged trademark infringement. On June 27, U.S. District Judge Larry J. McKinney in Indianapolis granted the NFL its preliminary injunction.
Speros appealed the injunction July 1 in Chicago. Oral arguments are scheduled for Aug. 3.
"After Aug. 3, we'll know if this is a setback or not," Speros said yesterday. "We've got to win this case on the road now. The judge here did not feel it was his case to hear."
Larry Ryckman, owner of the Calgary Stampeders and one of the league's most influential governors, said yesterday he recommended Speros fight for the name.
"But I also told him, 'Don't be afraid of throwing in the towel and changing the name,' " Ryckman said. "I hope it can get resolved. [But] there's absolutely nothing wrong with changing the name after all this."