Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

WWF becomes WWE as wrestlers admit defeat

Out-Law News | 08 May 2002 | 12:00 am |

The World Wrestling Federation has announced that it has re-branded as World Wrestling Entertainment and has moved from WWF.com to WWE.com, apparently abandoning plans to appeal a case won earlier this year by the World Wide Fund for Nature, formerly the World Wildlife Fund.

In October 2001, the High Court ruled that the Federation breached a 1994 agreement with the Fund by the use of its logo and the URL wwf.com. The charity successfully argued that the Federation’s association with violence and sleaze was damaging by “insalubrious connotation” the Fund’s ability to raise money for nature conservation.

In February, the English Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s order that the Fund was entitled to the exclusive use of the initials WWF anywhere outside the US. The Federation initially said it would appeal to the House of Lords, but it appears now to have abandoned this plan.

Linda McMahon, CEO of the newly named World Wrestling Entertainment said this week:

“We will utilise this opportunity to position ourselves emphasising the entertainment aspect of our company, and, at the same time, allay the concerns of the Fund.”

WWE said in a statement that it will continue to trade as WWF on the New York Stock Exchange until a suitable replacement symbol is found. The company will be providing the appropriate documentation and filings with regulators to solicit shareholder approval of the name change.