(Cleveland) A roller derby team that has called the Cleveland Guardians since 2013 sued the city’s baseball team in Cleveland Federal Court on Wednesday, claiming that the club’s passage of the Indians name to Cleveland by the club MLB constitutes an infringement of its trademark.
According to documents filed in court, the plaintiffs allege that a Major League team simply cannot get hold of the name of a smaller organization, ”adding that there cannot be two Cleveland Guardians.
“To put it bluntly, the complainants were there before,” we add.
The Indians announced last July that they would become the Guardians in 2022, after years of facing criticism of their name and racially-voiced mascot, Chief Wahoo. The new name was adopted in honor of the two art deco statues that appear to stand guard at the entrance to the bridge spanning the Cuyahoga River.
The unisex roller derby team is based in the suburb of Parma. She officially filed the name in 2017 with the Ohio Secretary of State and has been selling merchandise since 2014, the lawsuit reads.
The baseball club did not immediately respond to an interview request on Wednesday.
In April, the baseball club filed an application for the Guardians trademark in Mauritius, East Africa, “effectively hiding this application for application unless you know where to look,” the company said. pursuit.
The baseball team contacted the roller derby in June, telling them they were going to use the name Guardians and asking them to send them a picture of their jersey.
When the roller derby team offered to sell the rights to the Guardians name to the Indians, the Indians offered a symbolic amount, which the Guardians refused, according to the documents filed in court.
The MLB team subsequently filed a new trademark application in Mauritius for the logo, before filing two federal trademark applications in July for the exclusive rights to the Guardians name, the lawsuit alleges. .
Negotiations between the two teams over the rights to use the Guardians name began in July, after the Major Baseball club announced. They were broken up on Tuesday.
The roller derby team are now demanding that the baseball team make it known “with at least as much effort and resources” that they will no longer use the Guardians name.
She is also asking that the MLB club establish a fund equivalent to the amount the team will have spent on advertising and promotions if they continue to use the Guardians name so that the roller derby team can purchase ” publicity to correct the situation ”.