Trademark Showdown at Home Plate: Atlanta Braves at Bat against Local Taxi Company

On November 1, 2018, the Atlanta Braves commenced an action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia against a local Marietta taxi company and its owner for trademark infringement. The complaint filed by the Atlanta Braves asserts Federal and State causes of action against Braves Taxi sounding in Trademark Infringement, Trademark Dilution, Unfair Competition, and Cyberpiracy. In short, the Atlanta Braves claim that Braves Taxi is using identical and confusingly similar marks to those of the MLB team on its vehicles.…
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Pirates Settle in Foul-Ball Suit, with Net Installer as Final Defendant

The Pittsburgh Pirates have reached a confidential settlement with a woman struck by a foul ball at the Pirates’ PNC Park. Now, a jury trial will go forth under a new state court judge to determine the liability of the installer behind the allegedly defective safety net behind home plate. As we have previously reported, the suit arises from an incident that occurred in April of 2015, when a foul ball hit the netting behind home plate, and the netting deflected or stretched far…
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Baseball Net Installer Calls Foul, Alleging Judge’s Improper Communication

Promats Athletics LLC, the company that installed the safety net at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, filed a motion requesting a new state judge preside over the upcoming case of a women hit by a foul ball. The company contends that the judge currently assigned has conducted improper communications with the plaintiff’s attorney and is thus subject to removal from the case. The suit arises from an incident that occurred in April of 2015, when a foul ball hit the netting behind home plate, and the netting…
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Nothing But Net: Pittsburgh Pirates’ Net Installer’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied

On October 9, 2018, Judge Michael Della Vecchia denied Promats Athletics LLC’s motion for summary judgment seeking removal from a foul ball injury lawsuit. Back in 2015, spectator Wendy Camlin suffered injuries as a result of being struck in the head by a foul ball that deflected from the netting. Accordingly, when she filed suit against Major League Baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the city and county entity that built the stadium, the Pirates joined Promats to the suit, alleging Promats recommended and installed…
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DOJ Investigating MLB’s Recruitment of Foreign Players

On October 2, 2018, Sports Illustrated published a report stating that the United States Department of Justice “has begun a sweeping probe into possible corruption tied to [MLB’s] recruitment of international players.” The report published numerous emails, documents, videotapes, photographs, confidential legal briefs, receipts, copies of player visas and passport documents, internal club emails, and private communications by franchise executives. Reportedly, MLB teams, like the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves, have attempted to circumvent MLB rules and United States immigration law in their…
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Women Drops Claims Against MLB in Foul Ball Suit

On August 24, 2018, Wendy Camlin, a woman suing MLB, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Sports and Exhibition Authority and Allegheny Country, agreed to drop all of her claims against MLB. Back in April 20, 2015 Camlin attended a baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburg Pirates, when a foul struck Camlin in the head. Camlin seat for the April 20, 2015 game was immediately behind home plate, in Row A, and there was a net…
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MLB Asks Lawmakers to be Cautious in Recently Legalized Sports Betting World

On July 31, 2018, at the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Bryan Seeley, a senior vice president with Major League Baseball, asked lawmakers to be cautious in the recently legalized sports betting world. As we have previously reported, in May 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down a federal statute controlling the states’ ability to regulate sports gambling. In its majority opinion, the court voted to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). Although PAPSA did not…
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Major Sports Leagues Band Together Against Merchandise Counterfeiters

Three major sports leagues, among others, have recently banded together to put an end to a purportedly massive online circuit of sports merchandise counterfeiters using the leagues’ distinctive trademarks.  On July 2, 2018, NBA Properties, Inc., MLB Advanced Media, L.P., NHL Enterprises, L.P., IMG College Licensing, LLC, and the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska (Plaintiffs) filed suit against an undisclosed list of foreign defendants for alleged trademark infringement. Plaintiffs contend that the online stores are selling their products by using their distinctive…
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Hot Dogs Bite Back

Philadelphia Phillies Mascot the “Phanatic” has been launching free hot dogs high into the stands for as long as Phillies fans can remember. The dogs are launched using a custom turret style launcher mounted on the back of a John Deer, which makes for quite the spectacle. The Phanatic has fed the fans for years with no issues or hot dog related injuries. This all changed this past Monday, June 18th. Longtime Philadelphia resident and Phillies fan Kathy McVay was seated behind…
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Over/Under: Two Steps Forward and One Step Back for Legal Betting in New Jersey

On Tuesday, May, 25, 2018 the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider discussed the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to strike down a federal statute controlling the states’ ability to regulate sports gambling. Shortly after, New Jersey became the first state to officially make wagering legal and gain access to the estimated $150 billion market by approving Assembly Bill A-411. However, America’s professional sports leagues did not respond positively to New Jerseys’ legislation. Specifically, the leagues are worried about the potential for corruption and athletes manipulating the…
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