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24/7 Wall St.: Seven Companies Forced to Change Their Names

World Wrestling Entertainment

Former name: World Wrestling Federation
Year changed: 2001

The popular entertainment company once known as the World Wrestling Federation, or WWF, had to change its name for a much different reason — trademark violation. Very few multimillion dollar companies come across such a problem. But World Wildlife Fund for Nature, a global conservation organization founded in 1961 that carries the initials WWF, sued the entertainment group in 2000 and won. A British judge ruled in 1994 that the initials belonged solely to the conservation group, but the organization now known as the WWE, or World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: WWE), continued to use the initials through 2002. That is when the United Kingdom’s Court of Appeals upheld a 2001 ruling that the corporation had been in violation of the 1994 settlement. The WWF changed its name and abbreviation, and continues to be extremely popular as the WWE.

(AP Photo/StarPix, Dave Allocca)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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