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  • Cleveland Baseball team is in big legal trouble

    Cleveland Guardians roller derby team sues baseball club over name change - cleveland.com

    Ooops. How could they miss that? It's in their own backyard! If I'm the lawyer for the Roller derby team, I would just sit back saying "no" as the Baseball team lawyers keep offering more and more money to settle.

    The Baseball team has spent, very likely, millions on promotional materials, etc. with the name change. Money that will have to be doubled or tripled to fix this problem (settlement or new name). So much for signing major FAs this offseason.

    This, by the way, redefines "Mistake by the Lake."

  • #2
    The facts mentioned in the article make this sound even worse than what the headline says.

    Comment


    • #3
      There are a few teams in pro sports that have the same names but none in the same city.

      Winnepeg and New York Jets

      St. Louis and Arizona Cardinals

      New York and San Francisco Giants. Back in the day both franchises were in NYC so there's precedent with teams having the same name in the same city.

      Florida and Carolina Panthers

      St. Louis and Cleveland Browns

      Kansas City and Cincinatti Royals

      New York and Texas Rangers


      At one time Brooklyn had the baseball and the NFL Dodgers. More precedent.


      Green Bay and Chicago Packers. The Chicago Packers are now the Washington Wizards but were also the Chicago Zephyrs, Baltimore Bullets and Washington Bullets.

      At one time we had the Syracuse Nationals and now we have the Washington Nationals.


      Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 10-30-2021, 10:25 AM.
      Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post
        There are a few teams in pro sports that have the same names but none in the same city.

        Winnepeg and New York Jets

        St. Louis and Arizona Cardinals

        New York and San Francisco Giants. Back in the day both franchises were in NYC so there's precedent with teams having the same name in the same city.

        Florida and Carolina Panthers


        Green Bay and Chicago Packers. The Chicago Packers are now the Washington Wizards but were also the Chicago Zephyrs, Baltimore Bullets and Washington Bullets.

        Kansas City and Cincinatti Royals

        At one time we had the Syracuse Nationals and now we have the Washington Nationals.
        Different cities is usually not a problem because the City's name in the team name is different.

        The Giants pair might have had an agreement since they were different sports or their names came about when the laws covering trade names were less prevalent.

        The bigger issue here is that the Roller Derby team told the Baseball team "we have this name, don't use it!" Any trade name/trademark lawyer will tell you that when coming up with a name, the first thing the lawyer does is a search for the name to make sure it is not already being used anywhere in the United States. There are websites the lawyers use that are designed for this purpose. The Baseball team really dropped the ball on this.

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        • #5
          Honestly conflicted about this lawsuit. As a White Sox fan I wish nothing but ill upon the Cleveland American League Ball Club no matter what it is called, but as a citizen I really think they could have done better than Guardians as a name.
          "Hope...may be indulged in by those who have abundant resources...but those who stake their all upon the venture see it in its true colors only after they are ruined."
          -- Thucydides

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dumpjerry View Post
            The bigger issue here is that the Roller Derby team told the Baseball team "we have this name, don't use it!" Any trade name/trademark lawyer will tell you that when coming up with a name, the first thing the lawyer does is a search for the name to make sure it is not already being used anywhere in the United States. There are websites the lawyers use that are designed for this purpose. The Baseball team really dropped the ball on this.
            It's a big time ball drop. I work in the video game industry and we always do our due dilgence as far as checking video game title names, making sure we aren't violating some sort of copyright or trademark with one of our games, and checking with legal counsel. We're a relatively smaller developer in the scheme of things and even we do this. It's just common sense so you don't get your butt sued off. The fact that the roller derby team specifically told them not and they still went ahead is unfathomable to me. I can't imagine a Major League Baseball team missing something this basic. It's just incompetence. They must have felt that this team wasn't a legal threat to them and just tried to blow it off assuming they didn't have the funds to sue them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post
              There are a few teams in pro sports that have the same names but none in the same city.

              Winnepeg and New York Jets

              St. Louis and Arizona Cardinals

              New York and San Francisco Giants. Back in the day both franchises were in NYC so there's precedent with teams having the same name in the same city.

              Florida and Carolina Panthers

              St. Louis and Cleveland Browns

              Kansas City and Cincinatti Royals


              At one time Brooklyn had the baseball and the NFL Dodgers. More precedent.


              Green Bay and Chicago Packers. The Chicago Packers are now the Washington Wizards but were also the Chicago Zephyrs, Baltimore Bullets and Washington Bullets.

              At one time we had the Syracuse Nationals and now we have the Washington Nationals.


              When the football Cardinals moved from Comiskey to St. Louis, the baseball Cardinals let them keep the name. The ONE exception to the rule.

              When the Cincinnati (originally Rochester) Royals moved to KC, they became the Kings. No exception there.
              If it's up, put it down. If it's down, put it up.

              Comment


              • #8
                My brother who lives in Cleveland (we had to exile him for being a Cun fan) who is a lawyer told me last Summer that the new name conflicted with the local Roller Derby team adn he sensed trouble for the Baseball team. Good grief, this name was known to the public before they made the annoucement!

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                • #9
                  So worst case what happens? Judge tells them to cease and desist using the name and they pay a few million or is there a chance they can just pay a fee to the roller derby team and be done with it? If it's the latter they may figure that it won't matter. I can't imagine the value of the roller derby team is all that much. If it's more than $10M I'd be shocked. Even if it's double that MLB can afford it. Buy the damned team and be done with it.
                  Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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                  • #10
                    Roller Derby team has better logos anyway...

                    https://www.facebook.com/clevelandguardians/

                    https://store.clevelandguardians.com/

                    http://www.clevelandguardians.com/

                    (This is the most valuable thing they own)
                    Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My guess is the baseball team was well aware of the roller derby team and that the roller derby team did not have registered trademarks, so the baseball team assumed they could get the roller derby team to roll over for the paltry 4 figure offer mentioned in the article. Their mistake was not getting this wrapped up prior to the announcement, especially with the roller derby team holding the URL, because now they are either going to pay their lawyers or pay the roller derby team much more than they could have settled for previously.

                      Or, this was a masterful 4-D chess move to be able to continue using the prior name while the new one is in litigation, getting the benefit of "good intentions" without the pushback from actually changing the name.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by notjimrose View Post
                        My guess is the baseball team was well aware of the roller derby team and that the roller derby team did not have registered trademarks, so the baseball team assumed they could get the roller derby team to roll over for the paltry 4 figure offer mentioned in the article. Their mistake was not getting this wrapped up prior to the announcement, especially with the roller derby team holding the URL, because now they are either going to pay their lawyers or pay the roller derby team much more than they could have settled for previously.

                        Or, this was a masterful 4-D chess move to be able to continue using the prior name while the new one is in litigation, getting the benefit of "good intentions" without the pushback from actually changing the name.
                        The issue is not the Roller Derby Team's trademark, it is their tradename. Paying them off would not necessarily solve the problem because the policy behind tradename and trademark protection is "confusion," meaning there cannot be confusion over the lack of a relationship between the two organizations with the same name.

                        Case in point: Back in the 1950's there was a company called Burger King (we all know them very well) that was founded and started opening up "Burger King" outlets around the USA. Sometime before the 1950's (I think it was in the 1930's), a husband and wife in Matoon, Illinois opened a hamburger stand called "Burger King." When the big-time Burger King was founded 20 or so years later and were eyeing Matoon as a location, the couple ran to court. The court ruled that big Burger King could not be located within Matoon or within a certain distance of Matoon as long as the origning Burger King was in existance. This is remedy the courts look for in these situations, not a payout of $$$$$$.

                        Now, the Baseball team could give the Roller Derby Team $10,000,000 (that would be my bottom line if I was the Roller Derby team) to change their (the Roller Derby's) name. That would solve the problem.

                        Or the Baseball Team could change the name to the "**** Ups."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dumpjerry View Post

                          The issue is not the Roller Derby Team's trademark, it is their tradename. Paying them off would not necessarily solve the problem because the policy behind tradename and trademark protection is "confusion," meaning there cannot be confusion over the lack of a relationship between the two organizations with the same name.

                          Case in point: Back in the 1950's there was a company called Burger King (we all know them very well) that was founded and started opening up "Burger King" outlets around the USA. Sometime before the 1950's (I think it was in the 1930's), a husband and wife in Matoon, Illinois opened a hamburger stand called "Burger King." When the big-time Burger King was founded 20 or so years later and were eyeing Matoon as a location, the couple ran to court. The court ruled that big Burger King could not be located within Matoon or within a certain distance of Matoon as long as the origning Burger King was in existance. This is remedy the courts look for in these situations, not a payout of $$$$$$.

                          Now, the Baseball team could give the Roller Derby Team $10,000,000 (that would be my bottom line if I was the Roller Derby team) to change their (the Roller Derby's) name. That would solve the problem.

                          Or the Baseball Team could change the name to the "**** Ups."
                          I imagine the Roller Derby team will be very happy with a big payout eventually. They are an NFP company so they could do a LOT of good with the extra money. Much more than they are doing now. The name will change the money will be put to a good cause.
                          Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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                          • #14
                            Quick, let's pool our money and buy the roller derby Guardians. Then demand that if the baseball Guardians want to use our name, they have to ship Bieber and Civale to the White Sox.

                            2021 Sox Attendance Tracker: 13-6
                            All-time Sox Attendance Tracker: 300-253
                            Posts on old WSI: 7344

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chez View Post
                              Quick, let's pool our money and buy the roller derby Guardians. Then demand that if the baseball Guardians want to use our name, they have to ship Bieber and Civale to the White Sox.

                              "Great idea! I've been after Justin Beber for a LONNNNG time..."
                              Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...



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