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.

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Companies: mlb

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Comments on “MLB Using Trademark To Decapitate Fan Promotion Of The Philly Phanatic On A Flugtag”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Call me Al says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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”.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

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