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Baseball-Cleveland team sued for name change of Guardians by Roller Derby team

September 27, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Overview of the Cleveland Indians logo in the Centerfield of Progressive Field. Required Credits: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

October 27, 2021

Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters)-Major League Baseball Cleveland Indians, renamed Guardians, was sued Wednesday for trademark infringement by a local roller derby team, also known as Guardians.

The lawsuit was filed three months after the Indians announced that they would change their name https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/cleveland-baseball-team-change-name-guardians-2021 -07-23 The 2021 season in response to years of pressure from Native American groups and human rights activists who regarded Indian names in use since 1915 as racist and degrading.

“Two sports teams in the same city cannot have the same name,” a lawyer for the Roller Derby team said in a complaint filed in federal court in Cleveland.

“Cleveland cannot have two” Cleveland Guardians “teams. Frankly, the plaintiff was here first. “

An Indian spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The coed roller derby team has been using the Guardian’s name since 2013 and states that it registered with Ohio in 2017.

It wants an injunction and damages for the alleged confusion and loss of goodwill.

Teams in the same city may also share names at the expert level.

For example, New York had a baseball and soccer team named Giants from 1925 to 1957, and St. Louis had a sports team named Cardinals from 1960 to 1987.

Trademark lawyers said Wednesday’s proceedings were not frivolous, but Indians are likely to pay the Roller Derby team to settle to use the Guardian’s name.

Michael Hobbes, a partner at Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders, said:

Andrew Scale, a partner at Mints Law Firm, said for Indians, “I recommend buying the name of the Roller Derby team from them.”

Negotiations to resolve the dispute broke down on Tuesday.

“As a non-profit organization that loves the city of sports and Cleveland, it’s a shame that Indians have been forced to protect the name we’ve been using here for years,” Roller Derby said. Team owner Gary Sweat said in a statement.

(Report by Jonathan Stempel, New York, edited by Steve Orlovsky and Howard Goller)



Baseball-Cleveland team sued for name change of Guardians by Roller Derby team

Source link Baseball-Cleveland team sued for name change of Guardians by Roller Derby team

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