The Cleveland Indians will be officially known as the Cleveland Guardians next season, but another team from the city wants to prevent the change from happening.
The Cleveland flat-track roller derby team, also known as the Guardians, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to prevent Indians from using their new nickname.
The Indians said in July that they were aware of the Guardians Roller Derby team, according to WKYC. The MLB franchise claims it has taken appropriate legal action to protect the use of the name, but the federal lawsuit of the Roller Derby team says otherwise.
“Major League Baseball will never allow anyone to name their lacrosse team ‘Chicago Cubs’ if the team is in Chicago, or if their football team ‘New York Yankees’ is in New York – and they shouldn’t,” said Christopher Purdo, a roller derby team representative. Attorney, said in a statement. “The law that protects Major League Baseball from the confusion of the brand that will happen in these examples also works the opposite way to prevent what Indians are trying to do here. By taking the name ‘Cleveland Guardians’ overnight, the Indians have knowingly and intentionally taken away the rights of the real owner of that name – the real Cleveland Guardians.
The Cleveland MLB franchise first submitted a trademark to the parents ’names on the African island of Mauritius, according to the report. The move was said to have been taken to keep plans secret and not to be distracted from the 2021 season, but the Derby team’s lawsuit says the method was designed to surprise them.
“When Cleveland parents are given the opportunity to acquire all the higher rights (including both the Cleveland Guardian name and the clevelandguardians.com domain), Indians offer only a nominal payment, probably not more than fifteen minutes of annual party income,” the lawsuit states.
Money usually wins this kind of battle, and the MLB and the Indians obviously have a lot more to it than the local roller derby team. MLB’s guardians have already released several logos and a hype video, so they have no way to go back now.