MLB Using Trademark To Decapitate Fan Promotion Of The Philly Phanatic On A Flugtag

from the say-that-five-times-fast dept

Major League Baseball is notorious for it's incredibly over aggressive enforcement of copyright and trademark laws, often well-beyond what is reasonable. Reader Mark alerts us to MLB's latest move, which is to demand that a flugtag team from Philadelphia remove the head of the Philly Fanatic that it put on their flugtag for one of Red Bull's regular Flugtag competitions. MLB's defense, I'm sure, is that it has to enforce the trademark and make sure no one else is using it without a license. But that's just silly. First of all, there's only a trademark offense when it's a use in commerce, and a silly competition based on trying to launch homemade, human-powered flying machines that cannot fly, is not quite a use in commerce. But, more to the point, these are fans of the team trying to promote the team and promote their fandom. And MLB is shutting them down. That's not particularly fan friendly. And so, instead of the Philly Phanatic on a Flugtag, it'll be decapitated by a silly trademark claim.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Sep 3rd, 2010 @ 7:15pm

    MLB is not your friend. They want your money, period.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2010 @ 8:53pm

    baseball cannot die soon enough...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    bob, Sep 4th, 2010 @ 4:33am

    It Might Not

    Ever die but baseball has been dead to me since the strikes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2010 @ 7:03am

    With every law school diploma another angel dies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Sep 4th, 2010 @ 8:00am

    what is this "baseball" thing you are all on about?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    azmark, Sep 4th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    How to protect a copyright AND not kill your fan base

    Why don't they just voluntarily extend a one-use license to the offenders? Now they would have protected their copyright AND promoted good will with obviously enthusiastic fans.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Sep 4th, 2010 @ 6:34pm

    Re: How to protect a copyright AND not kill your fan base

    Because that would be smart.
    We can't have that, it might start something.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    Re: How to protect a copyright AND not kill your fan base

    Trademark...

    Seriously, it's in the article title.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    interval (profile), Sep 5th, 2010 @ 5:51pm

    Stupid & Short-Sighted

    Its just free promotion. How the hell kind of are a bunch drunken frat boys going to cause product confusion among consumers?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2010 @ 9:15pm

    It seems the first thing to ever be declared here when a trademark holder raises an objection is that their actions are "silly and an overreaction". Maybe in some instances this is true, but certainly not every time.

    The constant default position here makes me wonder if any thought is ever given to possible reasons that may have some merit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Call me Al, Sep 6th, 2010 @ 5:22am

    Re:

    "The constant default position here makes me wonder if any thought is ever given to possible reasons that may have some merit."

    Please feel free to suggest some.

    Certainly in this case it appears that the baseball team in question are muppets. Although chances are that most of the people involved in the team have no idea that this has happened and actually its just part of their legal team for whom cease and desist is a kneejerk reaction.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2010 @ 7:45am

    But they can't trademark acronyms such as MLB or Multi-Level Butts or Mad Lawyers Banter or Momma Likes Boo. Who cares about them? They are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things and should consider themselves fortunate that I even allow my children to watch their bullshit with their beer ads and their players that act like gangsters. Who needs them? I get more entertainment out of my local high school team, who are not a bunch of Prima Bonnas and just love to play. Plus they don't sell or advertise alcohol there. My son calls beer grown-up soda after watching professional sports. Yea Good advertising.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2010 @ 8:55am

    Re:

    Thank you for your brilliant contribution of absolutely nothing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2010 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re:

    The "trademarked item" appears to be the "mascot" for the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team, and the associated legal issue is the use of a colorable imitation (if not identical)of the "mascot" by a group entered in an event sponsored by Red Bull.

    Some quick thoughts regarding possible concerns. Might MLB or the Phillies have contracts with one or more companies other than Red Bull where by turning a blind eye and deaf ear a contractual problem may arise? Might use of the mascot in the event place eitheir MLB or the Phillies in a negative light? Just because someone may want to provide free publicity does not mean that this is the type of publicity that a trademark holder wants.

    The above are, of course, not exhaustive of all possibilities, but they do to a limited extent point out that not every negative reaction a trademark holder may have in cases like this is "silly".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2010 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re:

    And your contribution to the discussion is......?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2010 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nothing...except I realize that.

    But please continue posting false generalizations because you are unable to support any specific claim, if you wish.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    BBT, Sep 7th, 2010 @ 8:41am

    Maybe I'm an idiot

    But WTF is a flugtag? Kids these days...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This