The NBA has filed for trademark rights to six nicknames for Oklahoma City's franchise — Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshalls (spelled with two Ls), Thunder and Wind, according to the U.S. patent and trademark office.
The filings were Monday. All six trademark requests were filed with the NBA Development League as the "owner.” It's uncertain why the NBADL was part of the trademark process. KOCO-TV has reported that "according to a source close to the ownership group,” the name will be Thunder. Thunder won a fan vote on NewsOK.com. All the names, except for Marshalls, were top picks by readers, as well. There is more evidence Thunder could be the nickname. A search of Whois reveals the domain name Thunder.com was created for Thunder.Net Communications in July 1994, but the domain name rights expire Sunday. It's not known whether the NBA or team Chairman Clay Bennett have held talks with Thunder.Net Communications. "The NBA will not have a comment on this until a nickname is selected,” said Tim Frank, NBA senior director of basketball communications. One theory is Oklahoma City must choose a nickname before the 2008-2009 schedule, traditionally is released the first week in August. "That's a flawed theory,” Frank said. "The schedule is not done. We're not holding up the schedule because of the nickname.”