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View Full Version : Selig could call them the Washington Expos (MLB doesn't own Nationals name)


Fenway
02-21-2006, 09:23 PM
Can't Selig do ANYTHING right?

FIRST they had no home. Then they had no owner. Now they may not have a name.

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"?

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/21/sports/baseball/21chass.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

PaleHoseGeorge
02-21-2006, 09:27 PM
Well, it's back to being the Washington Senators! First in war, first in peace, and last in the National League.

:wink:

doublem23
02-21-2006, 09:48 PM
Can you imagine the NFL handling something like this so poorly? What a ****ing joke.

:tool
But there's still no World Football Classic!

buehrle4cy05
02-21-2006, 10:06 PM
And Ike was the only one winning down in Washington...

SouthSide_HitMen
02-21-2006, 10:39 PM
Just Selig being Selig.

SOXintheBURGH
02-22-2006, 06:56 AM
Good thing I got that Gnats hat when the gettin' was good.

Baby Fisk
02-22-2006, 10:47 AM
It was likely that the new ownership would change the uniforms anyway, but does this mean they will have to change the team name altogether? Good grief.

mjharrison72
02-22-2006, 12:07 PM
I always thought they should be either the Greys or the Shadow Senators anyway. Nationals was not that great of an idea. And I don't think as long as the residents of DC don't have representation in Congress that the city's team should be known as the Senators.

goofymsfan
02-22-2006, 12:15 PM
I always thought they should be either the Greys or the Shadow Senators anyway. Nationals was not that great of an idea. And I don't think as long as the residents of DC don't have representation in Congress that the city's team should be known as the Senators.

If I remember correctly, they can't be known as the Senators as the Rangers still own the rights to the name. This is coming from memory, so it may not be accurate.

mjharrison72
02-22-2006, 12:25 PM
If I remember correctly, they can't be known as the Senators as the Rangers still own the rights to the name. This is coming from memory, so it may not be accurate.
I know that... sounds like it's the same as the current situation they're in, though!

And I'm not sure how they would work it if they wanted a name like Shadow Senators, as I suggested. Not sure if that would be considered a unique name or if they would still have to get the rights from the Rangers.

FYI, the Shadow Senator's job is to work to convince members of Congress that DC should be granted statehood. It's also a throwback to the area's Negro League roots; those players used to play "shadow ball" before games to entertain the crowd, from what I understand.

Ol' No. 2
02-22-2006, 09:12 PM
A couple of questions for the legal eagles here:

1. The article says they reached an oral agreement (although that's a point of dispute). But from what I recall, these kind of oral agreements are specifically non-enforcable by the Statute of Frauds. Correct?

2. If the name Washington Nationals was in use during the 1800's, doesn't that bar it from being trademarked now?

MrRoboto83
02-23-2006, 03:16 PM
They should name the team the Washington Bullets

Flight #24
02-23-2006, 03:38 PM
A couple of questions for the legal eagles here:

2. If the name Washington Nationals was in use during the 1800's, doesn't that bar it from being trademarked now?

Not a legal eagle, but I have a friend who's in the trademark biz. From discussions with him, I understand that once a trademark has been unused for a certain amount of time, it lapses, but at that point, it can be basically "claimed" by anyone for some sort of registration fee. At that point, it's owner is whoever claimed it.

There are ways to prevent this, but I'd bet none were used. So assuming this company legally went through the process, they own the "Nationals" name.

I want Mags back
02-23-2006, 03:44 PM
Good thing I got that Gnats hat when the gettin' was good.

No matter what their name is, they will keep the cursive W

PaleHoseGeorge
02-23-2006, 04:23 PM
No matter what their name is, they will keep the cursive W

Actually, I'm pretty sure the cursive W design is owned by the Republican National Committee. The GOP is next in line to sue Selig and MLB.

:wink:

ondafarm
02-23-2006, 04:39 PM
Two ideas:
a) Blue Sox

b) take over a name from a Japanese team. Some that are available:
Washington Whales
" " Lions
" " Dragons
" " Carp
" " Buffaloes
" " Marines
" " Hawks (Iguchi's old team)
" " Bay Stars
" " Fighters
" " Orix

Third idea, should they move to Newport News, they could use my favorite rotisserie team name:
Newport News Gnus

WSox597
02-23-2006, 05:16 PM
Washington Carp has a nice ring to it. It's unique, and it fits in with the swamp that DC is built over.

There's a joke in there somewhere about bottom feeders and DC...

SoxEd
02-23-2006, 06:23 PM
If they're going to have to change the name I'd suggest 'Wolverines'.

It's nicely alliterative, it conveys menace, power and tenacity, and it commemmorates the recent release of one in Washington (I know, the beastie release was in the State in the Pac NW, not in DC).

Or, could Trademark issues arise with the University of Michigan?
In my expert Legal opinion, there ought NOT to be, as the College team plays Football, rather than BB.
Then again, your nation has taken litigiousness to unprecedented heights...

Anyone else like my suggestion, or does it reach hitherto-unattained levels of Stupiditatiousness? :wink:

Would folks get confused by two unrelated teams in different Sports having the same nickname?

gbergman
02-23-2006, 06:49 PM
What about EXPOS i want them to go back to that

DumpJerry
02-23-2006, 07:32 PM
A couple of questions for the legal eagles here:

1. The article says they reached an oral agreement (although that's a point of dispute). But from what I recall, these kind of oral agreements are specifically non-enforcable by the Statute of Frauds. Correct?

2. If the name Washington Nationals was in use during the 1800's, doesn't that bar it from being trademarked now?
The Statute of Frauds covers only certain types of contracts. Namely, contracts involving marriage ("marry me and I will buy you a car"), services which have to be performed within a year, sale of land, and some others which escape me right now (first year of law school was in 1991). This is not, I believe, covered by the SOF.

The poster who mentioned lapsed trademarks is correct. A trademark owner must defend the trademark or else it become part of the public domain. One of the best examples of this is "Aspirin." Aspirin was a trademark of the Bayer company for a pain relief medicine they produced. However, when other manufacturers started producing the same pills with the same name, Bayer did not sue and now Aspirin went from be a brand name (like "Advil") to a generic name ("Ibuprofen"). This is why you sometimes see print ads from the Xerox Corporation telling people that "Xerox" is not a verb to prevent having the word "Xerox" replace "photocopy."

What I am puzzled about (and this is due to the lousy job the mainstream media does in covering legal matters) is why the company that trademarked "Washington Nationals" in 2002 did not go for an injunction when MLB announced the name. Even if there was a verbal agreement (which I doubt ever existed), that company should have enjoined MLB from using the name until there was an agreement in writing. I doubt there was a verbal agreement because that would have left too much to chance for either side. Also the purported terms of the agreement seem, well, silly (four tickets to opening day????).

Bottom line: there is much more to the dispute than we see here, but my gut tells me that Selig and Co. might not be the dolts we think, I think the dolts are the guys who let MLB go ahead and use the name without court intervention or a written agreement regarding use.