MLB’s Shane Bieber Faces Surprising Opposition to “Not Justin” Trademark

Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber is facing opposition to his attempt to register “Not Justin” as a trademark, though it’s not coming from pop star, Justin Bieber.

In August 2019, Shane Bieber applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to register “Not Justin” as a trademark. He wore a special jersey with the phrase on it, humorously referencing his uncommon last name that he shares with the pop star. Shane Bieber plans to use the phrase in standard character on various types of …

Continue Reading

Indians Pitcher Claims IP Infringement Against Louisiana Baseball Training Program

On June 4, 2018, Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer commenced a lawsuit against a Louisiana-based baseball training program, claiming that it misappropriated his name, identity, likeness, and other interests protected under intellectual property laws. Bauer contends that the program, Top Velocity, LLC, had used his persona on its website and across its various social media accounts for its own commercial gain, leading the public to believe that Bauer and Top Velocity were associated.

Bauer’s complaint asserts a total of 21 causes of action, including …

Continue Reading

Canadian Court Dismisses Application to Bar Cleveland Indians From Wearing Uniforms with Name and Logo During Playoffs in Toronto

Just before Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, indigenous activist Douglas Cardinal filed a legal challenge in Ontario Superior Court to prevent the Cleveland Indians from wearing uniforms bearing their team name and “Chief Wahoo” logo. The logo is a red-faced cartoon with a feather headband and a huge grin. Cardinal argued that the team name and logo are racist and violate Ontario’s human rights code. He contended that the team should be referred to as “the Cleveland team” and should play in …

Continue Reading

Cleveland Indians Oppose Lessening of Protection for AM Stations by FCC

When FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai released a statement discussing the new rules for AM broadcasters, it was framed in such a way as to make it sound like a positive development for AM radio. It discussed short-term relief for AM broadcasters and additional opportunities to acquire FM translators, and explained that AM radio mattered and a new chapter in AM revitalization was being opened.

The Cleveland Indians, however, are of a different view when it comes to the proposed rules. In a March 21, 2016

Continue Reading

Cleveland Indians Logo Under Attack

The Native American advocacy group, “People Not Mascots,” is threatening the Cleveland Indians with a lawsuit for $9 billion in damages.  The group claims that the Cleveland Indians’ logo, Chief Wahoo, is offensive and racist.

According to the group’s leader, Robert Roche, a Chiricahua Apache, the substantial amount of damages is based “on a hundred years of disparity, racism, exploitation, and profiteering.”  Roche further stated the logo has “been offensive since day one.  We are not mascots.  My children are not mascots.  We are people.”…

Continue Reading