Jump to content

Washington Nationals name dispute?


Waffles

Recommended Posts

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/21/sports/b...ll/21chass.html

This will be the fifth season the Expos/Nationals will begin with no independent owner to make economic and player decisions unaffected by Major League Baseball. This will be the second season the team will be known as the Nationals. But will it be known as the Nationals for long?

Actually, the team can be the Nationals forever more, but the Nationals may not want to be the Nationals because they may not be allowed to sell merchandise under that name, and who in professional sports wants to have a name that cannot be marketed for financial gain?

Did someone say, "Oops"?

Last week the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted a request by Bygone Sports, a Cincinnati company that specializes in historic trademarks and historic sports apparel, for federal trademark registration on the name Washington Nationals. The company applied for the trademark in September 2002.

Major League Baseball was aware of the Bygone Sports link to the name and thought it had reached an agreement with the company for the rights to the name.

"We believe we own the name and the rights," said John McHale Jr., a baseball executive vice president. "We struck a deal prior to the announcement with the people who claimed they owned the name, and we've been fighting to get that agreement enforced. They didn't live up to the agreement."

Roger Kaplan, the lawyer for Bygone Sports, said baseball contended the two sides reached an oral agreement Nov. 12, 2004, 10 days before the team was designated the Nationals, but Kaplan said they had reached only a preliminary agreement. "All the terms and conditions had not been fully discussed," he said.

Furthermore, Kaplan said yesterday, the two sides were not able to put the agreement in writing and had agreed not to be bound by the agreement until it was in writing. Whether there is an enforceable agreement is one of the subjects of a case in federal court in Manhattan.

Each side sued the other and awaits a decision, expected this month, on cross motions for summary judgment on some issues. If the case goes forward on any issue, a trial is scheduled to begin before Judge Jed Rackoff on April 3, the day the team opens its second season as the Nationals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 78
  • Created
  • Last Reply

So a Cincinnati-based company trademarked the name for a Washington DC-based team before that team ever existed? Isn't that the same as cyber-squatting. And wasn't cyber-squatting ruled to be invalid?

Just curious. This is a shame. If MLB struck a deal, Bygone Sports should live by it -- there's no need to bilk money out of them especially when Bygone Sports will never, ever own a professional baseball team in Washington DC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Return of the Washington Senators

I've said that since the beginning. The Nationals name is only there to get the stadium. When a new owner comes in the Rangers will give them the rights to the name Senators. MLB wanted the name to be Senators they went with Nationals in order to help get the funding for the stadium because the Mayor didn't want the name Senators for a dumb reason.

I always thought Nationals was not going to be a permenant name.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So a Cincinnati-based company trademarked the name for a Washington DC-based team before that team ever existed? Isn't that the same as cyber-squatting. And wasn't cyber-squatting ruled to be invalid?

Just curious. This is a shame. If MLB struck a deal, Bygone Sports should live by it -- there's no need to bilk money out of them especially when Bygone Sports will never, ever own a professional baseball team in Washington DC.

You'll find quite a few companies that do this. Its not cyber-squating. they purchase the rights to defunct team names and logos to sell t-shirts and such. There is a big market for the ABA, NASL, Federal League, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So a Cincinnati-based company trademarked the name for a Washington DC-based team before that team ever existed?  Isn't that the same as cyber-squatting.  And wasn't cyber-squatting ruled to be invalid?

Just curious.  This is a shame.  If MLB struck a deal, Bygone Sports should live by it -- there's no need to bilk money out of them especially when Bygone Sports will never, ever own a professional baseball team in Washington DC.

You'll find quite a few companies that do this. Its not cyber-squating. they purchase the rights to defunct team names and logos to sell t-shirts and such. There is a big market for the ABA, NASL, Federal League, etc.

Oh...like that t-shirt company posted a while back that made t-shirts of old soccer, hockey and football teams. Well, basically like you said.

But preemptive? That seems harsh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So a Cincinnati-based company trademarked the name for a Washington DC-based team before that team ever existed?  Isn't that the same as cyber-squatting.  And wasn't cyber-squatting ruled to be invalid?

Just curious.  This is a shame.  If MLB struck a deal, Bygone Sports should live by it -- there's no need to bilk money out of them especially when Bygone Sports will never, ever own a professional baseball team in Washington DC.

You'll find quite a few companies that do this. Its not cyber-squating. they purchase the rights to defunct team names and logos to sell t-shirts and such. There is a big market for the ABA, NASL, Federal League, etc.

Oh...like that t-shirt company posted a while back that made t-shirts of old soccer, hockey and football teams. Well, basically like you said.

But preemptive? That seems harsh.

Remember, one of the recent threads about the Devil Rays said they had problems with preemptive trademark registrations of various proposed names (I don't remember if "Rays" was one of them).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So a Cincinnati-based company trademarked the name for a Washington DC-based team before that team ever existed? Isn't that the same as cyber-squatting. And wasn't cyber-squatting ruled to be invalid?

Just curious. This is a shame. If MLB struck a deal, Bygone Sports should live by it -- there's no need to bilk money out of them especially when Bygone Sports will never, ever own a professional baseball team in Washington DC.

Cybersquatting requires that you already have the trademark, and that someone is using your trademark as a domain name and holding it hostage. According to the PTO, Bygone Sports filed for "Washington Nationals", to be used on "clothing, namely, t-shirts" and "caps, jackets, pants, shorts; sweatshirts, sweatpants, jerseys" in September of 2002. The registrations by the MLB team didn't come until November 2004. So the cybersquatting analogy doesn't apply.

As for the Devil Rays, another group had registered Tampa Bay Manta Rays (filed January 1995), but that mark expired September 1996.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...AND...correct me if I'm wrong...but to add to the "they-knew-they-wouldn't-be-the-Nationals-for-long" idea...isn't their cap logo a replica (or similar) to the script "W" the Senators once used?

If so...in the words of C&C Music Factory..."Hmmmmmmm" <_<

Yeah, but that's a bit of a stretch. The names "Senators" and "Nationals" were used interchangeably for most of the 20th Century, after all. The new team should have a claim to the old cap.

This seems fishy to me. Was there a deal, or wasn't there? Of course, if such things were usually clear, we wouldn't have so many lawyers.

Anything that brings back the Washington Senators is okay with me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Return of the Washington Senators

Major League Baseball had better not let the team be renamed the Senators until after the new ballpark is built. Because until construction is actually finished, probably in 2009, the District Council will remain in a position to bring the project to a halt and score political points by "standing up to baseball," for example by rejecting subcontract authorizations during the project, and it's hard to imagine anything more liable to tee off the District Council than naming the team "Senators."

I know that a lot of people outside Washington laugh at the silly people in DC who actually want, you know, democracy, but the politically active folks in DC who have it in their power to run baseball out of town take their lack of federal representation seriously. Call them radical, but the political class in DC is pretty sore about not having any actual senators. If you're trying to get someone to hold up his end of a deal that basically involves him giving you $600 million worth of free goodies in exchange for just about nothing, you know what you don't do? You don't take his biggest open wound and pour a 50-pound bag of salt on it.

If the team has to be renamed before 2009, baseball would be well advised to steer clear of "Senators." "Nats" or "Grays," more like, or "Federals" or "Potomacs."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Return of the Washington Senators

Major League Baseball had better not let the team be renamed the Senators until after the new ballpark is built. Because until construction is actually finished, probably in 2009, the District Council will remain in a position to bring the project to a halt and score political points by "standing up to baseball," for example by rejecting subcontract authorizations during the project, and it's hard to imagine anything more liable to tee off the District Council than naming the team "Senators."

I know that a lot of people outside Washington laugh at the silly people in DC who actually want, you know, democracy, but the politically active folks in DC who have it in their power to run baseball out of town take their lack of federal representation seriously. Call them radical, but the political class in DC is pretty sore about not having any actual senators. If you're trying to get someone to hold up his end of a deal that basically involves him giving you $600 million worth of free goodies in exchange for just about nothing, you know what you don't do? You don't take his biggest open wound and pour a 50-pound bag of salt on it.

If the team has to be renamed before 2009, baseball would be well advised to steer clear of "Senators." "Nats" or "Grays," more like, or "Federals" or "Potomacs."

No Taxation without Representation

You know it's a serious subject if they put it on their license plates.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WYOMING

Estimated Population (2004): 506,529

US Senators: 2

Voting US Representatives: 1

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Estimated Population (2004): 553,523

US Senators: 0

Voting US Representatives: 0

DC is still only a city. NYC has a population of 8 million people but they don't get senators of their own. Cities don't get Senators, States do. If you want to make DC part of Mayland or Virginia that's fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope this is all worked out. I have never liked the name "Washington Senators". Nationals sounds much better, is more fitting for a team in D.C. considering the fact that D.C. dosn't actually have a senator of their own, as pointed out above. Let the team keep the name "Nationals". If they must change, "Federals" would work, but stay away from "Senators".

DC is still only a city. NYC has a population of 8 million people but they don't get senators of their own. Cities don't get Senators, States do. If you want to make DC part of Mayland or Virginia that's fine.

Here's the problem with that argument. They arn't asking for senators to represent the city of Washington, they want senators to represent the District of Columbia. Technically the city of Washington lies within D.C. much like New York City lies within in New York State. Even though the limits of D.C. are the same as Washington, technically they are different entities. One is a district of the United States, the other is a city within that district. The people whant the district to have representation in the United States senate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WYOMING

Estimated Population (2004): 506,529

US Senators: 2

Voting US Representatives: 1

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Estimated Population (2004): 553,523

US Senators: 0

Voting US Representatives: 0

Washington residents are forgetting one thing. Washington DC is a FEDERAL district, meaning it is governed completely by the federal government. It was set up that way so no state could claim the national capital as it's own.

There is a reason things are the way they are, it would be nice if they would stop complaining and read their US History book...

No one is making them live in Washington, if they really want representation, they can move to Maryland or Virginia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WYOMING

Estimated Population (2004): 506,529

US Senators: 2

Voting US Representatives: 1

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Estimated Population (2004): 553,523

US Senators: 0

Voting US Representatives: 0

Washington residents are forgetting one thing. Washington DC is a FEDERAL district, meaning it is governed completely by the federal government. It was set up that way so no state could claim the national capital as it's own.

There is a reason things are the way they are, it would be nice if they would stop complaining and read their US History book...

No one is making them live in Washington, if they really want representation, they can move to Maryland or Virginia.

Mmm ... I detect a delicate "love-it-or-leave-it" flavor, w/ subtle undertones of "that's-the-way-it's-always-been." Delicious!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.