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Little League, Logos and Life Imprisonment

Discussion in 'Screen Printing' started by OneUpTenn, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. OneUpTenn

    OneUpTenn Active Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    I have a lot of people in sports, schools and leagues bring me in logos that are exact replicas of famous college teams, pro baseball, NFL, etc. The only changes are the names of their teams.

    Do you guys run into this as well and will I spend the rest of my life in prison if I make the uniforms for these people?
  2. bendeane

    bendeane Member

    Nov 10, 2009
    I was wondering the same thing...but only for banners...
  3. MachServTech

    MachServTech Very Active Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    North Carolina
    No, but you could loose your business from the legal chaos if the wrong people see it.

    BigDawg could tell you about a close call.
  4. G-Artist

    G-Artist Active Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    To use anything associated with MLB you need a license...PERIOD!!!

    See these two easy read blogs.



    Most professional teams as well as colleges have a preferrred vendor that most purchases have to be made through.

    MLB seems to be very serious in their enforcement. According to one IP lawyer:

    The MLB is serious about enforcement having recently brought civil lawsuits against youth baseball teams and even Sen. Barack Obama's campaign for using logos that borrow from MLB teams.

    Little League has this to say:

    It looks like it lets the team off the hook but the hangs sportsware provider out to dry.

    So, as they say, govern yourself accordingly.
  5. scarface

    scarface Guest

    I had someone on the "braves" which was a local team and it looked just like the ATL Braves. I simply told them it's illegal to reproduce copyrighted logos.

    It's not worth it chancing it ya know.
  6. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    the LITTLE LEAGUE, and similar organizations that promote sports for kids, usually have some kind of agreement with the MLB/NFL about the use of the logos. the ball field i do work for does some MLB logos also the LITTLE LEAGUE FOOTBALL there uses green bay packers colors and logos. my high school in burgettstown pa, our football team was the same as DUKES BLUE DEVILS.
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Luckily for us.... of all the Little League Parks and Complexes we supply signs.... none of them have duplicated any major league logos.

    We don't do very many jerseys or hats, but the ones we have furnished haven't crossed over any lines, either.

    I do know that there is very little tolerance for the teams that do this and are dealt with harshly. We do the signs for two Minor League Stadiums and they are always complaining how so any organizations are always getting busted for this stuff.

    I don't think any of these teams have silent deals or agreements canceling this sort of thing out. I'd sooner think many of them are just turning their heads because of all the bad press you get when going after little kids.
  8. OneUpTenn

    OneUpTenn Active Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    Ya know pretty soon we are going to start running out of team names to use and will have to start calling little league teams..."The Fairy Dusters" and the "we dont have a name because all the colleges and pro teams have used them all"
  9. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    The NFL actually has a licensing agreement for pee wee football use. Don't ask me how you get it but I've had three different groups bring me pretty bad-assed graphics packages with the full, official team artwork, color specs, and usage specs along with a copyright release letter.
  10. digitalwoodshop

    digitalwoodshop Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    So the lights are off..... Bubba wispers in your ear.... Tell me again, your here for printing a logo? :design::ROFLMAO:
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  11. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Very Active Member

    Oct 22, 2009
    I wouldn't know an official logo if it bit as I don't watch sports and haven't owned a television for a dozen years. I am going to have to start making customers sign a waiver stating that the art that they are bringing me is original or that they own the rights to it. This stuff scares the crap out of me. The other day I reproduced a logo for a guy that didn't have a digital file. I think the logo was based on clipart but I recreated it, the guy says someone made it for him but what does he know? I am sure that I am breaking the law many times a week but I try my best. Can you imagine what the copy shops are doing?
  12. schramm

    schramm Member

    Feb 19, 2009
  13. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    We actually have a school near here called the Fisher Bunnies.:ROFLMAO:

    I'm not 100% sure on this, but I don't see how they can have rights to names like the Bears, or Eagles, or Rams, or Indians, or the Browns. I'm thinking they are mostly protecting the logos or the brands. I actually prefer it that little league or high school sports have a unique image. If you find out that you or they aren't legally able to use a professional team's likeness then perhaps you could use that as an excuse and an opportunity to sell your clients on a custom design for their team. :thumb:
  14. G-Artist

    G-Artist Active Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    The trademark goes with the genre' in the instant case, the sport of baseball. So, if the first team to register with the trademark office was say, "the Bullfrogs", then no other baseball team from sandlot to the majors could use it.

    Now that will not stop a chemical company from calling their latest sunblock product "Bullfrog" because there is no chance of "confusion." Nor would either of the two registrations stop a boat company from calling their latest craft offering "the Bullfrog."

    You don't have to immediately register to get protection. Just being the first to use it in commerce (registration actually should come after first use, not prior but it is allowed) is generally enough.

    Sometimes trademark protection can be local or regional. Just ask the [blank]heads at McDonald's who fought against a guy in Fairfield, IL (for 26 long years) whose restaurant was there before them.

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