The San Francisco Giants is being sued over a team logo that they’ve used since 1993. However, they failed to Patent the design, but Federal law states “also protects unregistered trademarks” and that might be the reason they will win the lawsuit. The problem started when another company, Gogo Sports of Hayward, went out and started using the logo on its knock off clothing.
The company filed the trademark, which is identical to the one worn by the Major League Baseball team. The league tried to file for a patent on the trademark afterwards but was blocked by a Patent and Trademark examiner. In turn Gogo filed suit in September against the MLB and the Giants.
In the suit Gogo is asking for a judgement be put in place that Gogo indeed has a valid trademark and can continue selling its wares without being bothered by the baseball folks. It would seem MLB would not have a case since failing to trademark the logo first. However, a trademark attorney says Gogo will likely lose the battle.
He told the SF weekly, “The Giants are actually in a commanding legal position. Federal law ‘also protects unregistered trademarks,’ says Golden Gate University law Professor William Gallagher. “If the Giants have been using the script logo on their merchandise for years, it’s likely they’ll have strong trademark rights based on use alone.”
“In fact, since the team can assuredly establish prior use of a logo deemed “virtually identical” to Gogo’s, it’s the clothing company that may be facing the legal equivalent of a Brian Wilson heater,” he added.