Roller Derby Team Sues Baseball Team Over Name "Guardians"

(Cleveland) - The Roller Derby team that has called itself Cleveland Guardians since 2013 has filed a federal suit against the Major League Baseball to stop the name change by the MLB team formerly known as the Cleveland Indians.

In a statement to our partners at 3 News, the roller derby team's lead attorney, Christopher Pardo, said, “Major League Baseball would never let someone name their lacrosse team the ‘Chicago Cubs’ if the team was in Chicago, or their soccer team the ‘New York Yankees’ if that team was in New York – nor should they. The same laws that protect Major League Baseball from the brand confusion that would occur in those examples also operate in reverse to prevent what the Indians are trying to do here. By taking the name ‘Cleveland Guardians’ overnight, the Indians knowingly and willfully eviscerated the rights of the original owner of that name – the real Cleveland Guardians.”

The MLB team, formerly known as the Cleveland Indians, has said that it had taken steps to protect the name for itself. Crain's Cleveland Business reported that the baseball team registered for name protection with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office a few days before the roller derby team.

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