Technically, the NFL’s Houston Oilers are no longer in operation under that name as the team was moved to Tennessee and would play under the Oilers nickname for two years before changing to the Titans.
In 2020, the XFL rebooted their league and had a Houston franchise that had a logo that looked quite familiar to fans. It also looked familiar to the NFL, as trademark attorney Josh Gerben released via Twitter that the NFL has filed paperwork to challenge the use of the oil rig in the Houston Roughnecks logo.
Via XFL News Hub:
“Gerben said via phone call that the NFL would have to prove that the XFL’s use of the logo hinders their ability to sell Oilers merchandise, and that they (the NFL) have the exclusive rights to use the rig.
I’m sure your first question is, “why now?” Why not before. Gerben says:
“Procedurely, when you file a trademark application it goes through the government’s review process first. And then once the government approves any trademark for registration there’s a 30-day window that opens up. Which anybody that feels they might be damaged by the registration can file an opposition.”
Gerben gave his professional opinion that the matter won’t end up in court, but would instead be settled out of court.