Cleveland Guardians curler derby staff sues Cleveland MLB staff in federal court docket over identify change

Cleveland Guardians curler derby staff sues Cleveland MLB staff in federal court docket over identify change

In July, the Cleveland Indians introduced that the franchise can be known as the Cleveland Guardians following the conclusion of the 2021 MLB season. On Wednesday, a Cleveland-based curler derby staff, additionally named the Cleveland Guardians, sued the MLB franchise in federal court docket in an effort to dam their use of the identify.

“Main League Baseball would by no means let somebody identify their lacrosse staff the ‘Chicago Cubs’ if the staff was in Chicago, or their soccer staff the ‘New York Yankees’ if that staff was in New York – nor ought to they,” Hunton Andrew Kurth lead lawyer Christopher Pardo mentioned in a press release on behalf of the plaintiff. “The identical legal guidelines that defend Main League Baseball from the model confusion that might happen in these examples additionally function in reverse to stop what the Indians try to do right here.

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“By taking the identify ‘Cleveland Guardians’ in a single day, the Indians knowingly and willfully eviscerated the rights of the unique proprietor of that identify – the actual Cleveland Guardians.”

The Cleveland baseball franchise used the identify for over 100 years earlier than deciding to alter it — a call that was rooted within the staff identify being offensive to Native American teams. Because of this, the staff introduced that they might be transitioning to the Guardians following the 2021 season.

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In keeping with the lawsuit, the Indians knew that the Guardians curler derby staff already had the identical identify months earlier than asserting the identify change. The lawsuit additionally alleges that the Cleveland Indians’ attorneys made secret trademark filings on the small island of Mauritius “in an effort to cover its intent to take the Guardians’ identify, after which reached out to inform the curler derby staff of its plans.”

“As a nonprofit group that loves sports activities and town of Cleveland, we’re saddened that the Indians have pressured us into having to guard the identify we’ve used right here for years,” Cleveland Guardians curler derby proprietor Gary Sweatt added. “We all know we’re in the suitable, nevertheless, and similar to our athletes do on the observe, we’ll put every little thing into this effort on the courthouse.”

The lawsuit, Guardians Curler Derby v. Cleveland Guardians Baseball Firm LLC, was filed in United States District Courtroom for the Northern District of Ohio.

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