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Baseball Trademarks

Posted by ipelton on: July 15th, 2009

This week Major League Baseball celebrated its annual all-star game.  The MLB logo is a classic – simple, red-white-and-blue, and has not changed in decades.   The logo has been been used and registered since 1968.

The effectiveness of the logo is that it communicates the message — official baseball league services or products – and is easy to print on uniforms, helmets, etc.  And it has been imitated many times.  Numerous professional sports leagues now borrow the silhouette idea – including the NBA, PGA tour, IndyCar Series racing, and others.

Did you know the Yankees pinstripe uniform is a registered trademark?!

Description of Mark: The drawing is a two-dimensional representation of the mark, which consists of the design elements and color combinations appearing on a three-dimensional baseball uniform worn by players in applicant’s games and exhibitions.

Many other professional sports teams have also registered their uniform designs as trademarks, such as:

Denver Broncos

Chicago Bulls

New York Knicks

Why do these teams protect their uniform designsa and color schemes?  What if a rival start up league began and borrowed uniform designs?  Could customers be confused?  And how much money do the teams make in uniform sales?

Lesson: Anything that distinguishes your brand (or team!) from the competition can be a trademark, even pinstripes.

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