LIV Golf is another legal battle, but this time with a Florida nightclub attempting to block the fledging league’s trademark registration.
- LIV nightclub in Miami Beach, Florida, has filed a court action to oppose LIV Golf’s attempt to register its trademark.
- Both the golf league and the nightclub use the Roman Numeral for the number 54 in the company logos, and LIV nightclub says the trademarks “are visually, phonetically, and aurally similar, and the goods/services share similarities.”
- The nightclub’s trademark has been used for over 15 years, and it states in the court filing that consumers could confuse the nightclub and the gold league with each other and “the registration of the LIV Golf trademarks will dilute the distinctive quality” of LIV Miami.
Why it’s news
The controversial Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf league cannot seem to catch a break as the league finds itself in yet another court battle, but this time due to its name.
The LIV Golf league filed a trademark application, but a longstanding club in Miami Beach, Florida, with the same name, has filed a court action to oppose the registration attempt.
LIV nightclub was founded by hospitality entrepreneur David Grutman in 2008 and has been referred to as one of the best clubs in the country as celebrities and influencers travel across the nation just to visit the club.
On the other hand, LIV Golf was founded just last year and has found itself surrounded by controversy from the beginning, mainly due to its Saudi Arabian ties.
The nightclub has held the LIV trademark for years and filed the opposition as it states it does not want to be confused with the LIV Golf league or look like it is affiliated.
Catching up on the LIV GOlf controversy
June 6, 2022 – The first player to defect from the PGA to join LIV was Phil Mickelson. He was reportedly offered $200 million to jump to the new tour, a big number considering he only made $94 million in his career with the PGA.
June 7 – The weekend’s winner and former number-one golfer in the world, Dustin Johnson, jumped on—signing a four-year contract with LIV reportedly worth $125 million. Other big names followed immediately… Sergio Garcia, Talor Gooch, Louis Oosthuizen, Kevin Na, Ian Poulter, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Charl Schwartzel, Lee Westwood, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, Abraham Ancer, Matthew Wolff, Paul Casey, and Henrik Stenson.
July 22 – Then LIV secured someone who wasn’t there to swing clubs. Highly popular golf commentator David Feherty joined the action. Shortly after, the league snatched two-time Masters champion, Bubba Watson.
August 1 – LIV tried to obtain golf legend Tiger Woods, but he declined. LIV CEO Greg Norman said Woods turned down a nearly $800-million deal. Woods voiced his distaste for the players leaving the PGA. “I think that what they’ve done is they’ve turned their back on what has allowed them to get to this position,” he said.
August 3 – Mickelson, Bryson DeChambeau, and nine other LIV golfers filed an antitrust complaint against the PGA Tour. The lawsuit comes after the players were suspended from the PGA Tour over their involvement with the fledgling tour. The golfers were denied by a judge, giving LIV its first defeat.
August 24 – PGA announces new changes that will go into effect in the 2023 season. New structural changes include ranking “top players,” more players and money for the Player Impact Program, and a set number of tournaments. “I laugh at what the PGA Tour players have come up with,” says golfer Lee Westwood, who was suspended from the PGA circuit when he signed on with LIV. “It’s just a copy of what LIV is doing.”August 30 – Most recently, LIV snagged the number two golfer. Cameron Smith left the PGA. Smith is the highest-ranked player to leave the PGA for LIV thus far—after winning The Open Championship in July, the Australian refused to confirm or deny whether he was jumping ship.
November 2022 – LIV’s inaugural season wrapped up, but controversy stuck around.
January 2023 – After struggling to secure a broadcast deal, the controversial LIV Golf has reached a deal to broadcast on the CW Network. Although LIV Golf was well-financed by the Public Invest Fund of Saudi Arabia, it had difficulty competing with the PGA Tour without a broadcast deal. This deal will allow LIV to reach a broader audience and possibly rope more professional golfers from the PGA.
January 2023 – LIV partnered with former President Donald Trump. Three of Trump’s golf courses will be used in LIV Golf’s first official season.The inaugural season will feature 14 events in seven countries at top-rated courses. The tour will return to five venues that hosted previous LIV events, including some Trump-owned properties.
February 2023 – Netflix series Full Swing prominently reports on how the LIV Golf-PGA Tour battle has played out on the course, revealing contentious interviews and discussions with some of the top golfers who have defected from the PGA to LIV.