Major League Baseball Issues Ultimatum to Amateur League Over Trademarks

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Major League Baseball Issues Ultimatum to Amateur League Over Trademarks

Thu Mar 13, 2008 @ 10:46AM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Mlb_logo Major League Baseball is again throwing a brushback pitch on the trademark front. The league is demanding that six teams in the amateur Cape Cod Baseball League who share nicknames with professional ballclubs purchase uniforms and souvenir merchandise from MLB-licensed vendors.

As pointed out by Techdirt, MLB does give the Cape Cod League a $100,000 annual grant. The amateur league will now have to decide whether this grant is worth the new price, which also includes a demanded 11 percent royalty on sales next summer of existing inventory from the six affected Cape League teams.

Even if Cape Cod doesn't capitulate, it might face an interesting trademark suit over whether these names are protectable. Currently, the two leagues have franchises with shared nicknames including A's, Red Sox, Mariners, Braves, Mets and Cardinals. Something tells us a certain football franchise in Arizona might wish to pay attention to this.

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