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MLB team reaches a trademark agreement

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2021 | Business Law |

Residents of Aloha and other nearby areas in Oregon may want to learn more about the settlement of a lawsuit that charged the former Cleveland Indians with trademark infringement. The new name for the Cleveland Indians is “Guardians,” but a local roller derby team with the name Guardians placed an objection.

According to press reports, changing its name resulted in the filing of the October 27th lawsuit by the Guardians roller derby team.

How long was the Cleveland Indians name been in use?

The name has been in use since 1915. This major league baseball team has proudly used the name, but recent calls to sensitivity resulted in the search for a new name. In July 2021, the team announced that it would be changing its name.

The reason for the change from Indians

There was lobbying to the American League by Native American groups to remove that name. Their Chief Wahoo also had depiction in an image that was in use by the team. The Native Americans claimed that the trademarks enhanced stereotypes, and that it was all degrading as well as racist. Thus the name change happened.

Guardians roller derby lawsuit said name would be confusing

In the lawsuit, the roller derby team had said they used the name Guardians since 2013. A baseball team in Cleveland with the same name would cause confusion to fans.

Was there a payment made?

The teams did not announce the terms of this agreement made under trademark law. They both said that the terms were amicable. Some intellectual property lawyers had made a statement that payment to the roller derby team might be necessary in coming to a resolution.

Lawsuits may arise when names are not researched or other factors taken under consideration. Having two businesses with identical names should not happen. However, sometimes it does.