Club Internacional De Futbol Miami, the David Beckham backed MLS franchise that’s better known as Inter Miami CF, has found itself in its first competitive contest, although this one will not be played out on a pitch, with Italian side Inter Milan attempting to push through a trademark application for the word ‘Inter’.

Inter Milan, officially known as FC Internazionale Milano, filed a US Patent and Trademark application in 2014 to make the abbreviated version of its name an exclusive brand, which, if approved, would prevent Inter Miami from marketing itself as ‘Inter’, something the Milan-based team obviously weren't to keen on from the get go. All sounds a bit ridiculous, right? Well that’s pretty much the view of Major League Soccer, who have filed a notice of opposition to the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

In it, MLS contends that because of the widespread and worldwide use of ‘Inter’ in soccer teams’ names such as FC Inter Turku, Inter Leipzig, Inter Baku, Inter de Grand-Goave, NK Inter Zapresic, Inter de Luanda, Inter Club d’Escaldes, Inter Atlanta FC, and Inter Nashville FC, fans and consumers do not associate the word with any one team. Certainly didn’t see Inter Milan kicking up a fuss for Inter Moengotapoe, that’s for sure. MLS goes on to say that Inter is simply short for the conventional word ‘international’ and is therefore not meaningfully distinctive as an indicator of a team or of a team’s products and services. For those reasons, MLS argues that neither Inter Milan nor any other club can claim exclusive rights to the word. A response from the US Patent and Trademark Office is expected on May 4.

Inter Miami are set to begin play in MLS in 2020, following the announcement of their team name, colours and crest back in September 2018. The new MLS franchise are hardly the first team to ‘borrow’ a name from the global game, with ‘Sporting’, ‘Real’ and ‘United’ all being used by teams in the league in what many see as a homage from the burgeoning outfits as they look to replicate a modicum of the success that their namesakes have enjoyed.

Look Milan, just take it as a complement and let’s all move on from this, yeah?