MLB Comes To Its Senses And Declines To Oppose Overwatch League Trademark

from the intentional-walk dept

We recently discussed how Major League Baseball had asked for an extension with the USPTO so its legal staff could decide whether it wanted to oppose a trademark application for eSport organization Overwatch League's new logo. The request was more than a little head-scratching for a variety of reasons. As we pointed out in that post, the two logos aren't particularly similar and certainty don't appear to give ground to any confusion among the public about any affiliation between the leagues.

Different color schemes, different fonts, and clearly identified names of the league on each logo didn't give MLB much ammo for a trademark opposition. Add to that the plethora of sporting league logos done in a similar style that actually do use the same color scheme, yet don't face aggression from MLB, and it raises the eyebrow as to why MLB's lawyers wanted to even go so far as to ask for an extension over any of this.

Well, it seems that either MLB's lawyers are Techdirt readers or they simply came to their senses (I choose to believe it's the former), because the time to file an opposition has come and gone with no action taken on MLB's side.

Major League Baseball has decided not to oppose Blizzard Entertainment’s OverwatchLeague trademark filing, per law firm Morrison / Lee. As part of the OWL’s trademark review process via the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, organizations have the opportunity to oppose trademarks—and earlier this month, the MLB was reportedly preparing a challenge, along with a request for a 90 day extension.

The deadline to file the challenge and extension, July 26, has now come and gone without issue. OWL’s trademark is presumably in place, and while it could still be challenged as a trademark infringement down the road, such a challenge is unlikely given the lack of current filing.

While MLB has been happy in the past to be the bully on trademark issues, it seems it decided even this one was too silly to take on. That doesn't feel like it deserves applause as much as brief sigh of relief at one less dumb trademark issue I'd have to write about.

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Filed Under: logos, overwatch, sports, trademark
Companies: blizzard, mlb

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  1. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 1 Aug 2017 @ 10:34am

    Perhaps the lawyers ran the numbers & figured out Blizzard wouldn't roll over.

    So many of these cases seem to be based on "will this generate me billable hours if I can convince the client the sky is falling?"

    When all you have is IP everything looks like infringement, & acting on those impulses destroys the faith of the few who haven't figured out that IP is an abomination & needs reform.

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