MLB Team May Strike Out

Baseball name dispute

In light of the upcoming third game of the World Series featuring the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves, a separate MLB baseball team is facing legal trouble. The former Cleveland Indians intend to adopt the Cleveland Guardians moniker in the 2022 season. Following this announcement of the baseball team’s newly adopted name this past July, the Cleveland Guardians roller derby team have alleged trademark infringement. One of the key pieces to the roller derby team’s argument is the perceivably hidden manner in which the trademark rights were obtained, which has contributed to the team’s frustrations and need to file a lawsuit. Read more

Doll Creates an Uncomfortable Space

Out of this world

Since 1986, American Girl Doll has become a household name.  The 18-inch dolls bear likenesses of young girls with different ethnicities, and the persona of each doll is developed into a character.  The introduction of the aspiring astronaut doll, Luciana Vega, in 2018 has caused more damage than intended. According to a recent lawsuit filed against American Girl Doll and its parent company Mattel, the Luciana doll is based off of a real person.  Lucianne Walkowicz did not approve of the representation and is suing the doll maker for trademark infringement. Read more

National Park Causes National Turmoil

The weight of a name

Located in California’s breathtaking Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite National Park is home to gigantic sequoia trees, granite cliffs, and impeccable landscapes.  In addition to these attractive tourist spots, the iconic national park has also been the subject of legal trouble since 2015.  Delaware North Companies Inc had maintained park property operations since 1993 until it was outbid by Aramark.  As part of the concessionaire’s transition into their new role, Aramark changed the names of several attractions and hotels.  In the lawsuit, Delaware North claims that Aramark should have had to uphold terms that were required when Delaware North began operations in 1993, which was to purchase the previous facilities operator’s intellectual property rights of the names.  As compensation for this intellectual property dispute, Delaware North was looking to collect $50,000 million. Read more

Spider-Man Swings to Supreme Court

Trapped in a web

If you are a child during the holiday season, there may be no better gift than a brand new Spider-Man toy. However, it appears that a trademark lawsuit may keep some Marvel merchandise off the shelves. A man named Stephen Kimble invented a toy glove that fires silly string, allowing kids to pretend they are the web-slinging hero Spider-Man. Marvel bought the idea and had been paying Kimble royalties from sales, until his patent on the idea ran out. Furious, the inventor filed a lawsuit to overturn a 50-year-old Supreme Court ruling about expiring patents, seemingly forcing Spider-Man to trade in his red-and-blue spandex for a suit and tie. Read more

Satellite Radio Has Serious Problems

“God I love being a turtle.”

Contrary to popular belief, music is never really free; just ask a musician. The satellite radio company Sirius XM was sued over copyright and trademark laws by a 1960s band called The Turtles. With the passing of federal copyright protection for recorded music in 1972, the royalties for music made before that date have been a hot button issue. The band claims that its’ music was broadcast on satellite radio without any compensation or consent of the creators. A series of lawsuits were filed against both Sirius XM and Pandora Media in New York, Florida, and California, with the band seeking about $100mm worth of damages. Read more