Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. v. Sed Non Olet Denarius, Ltd.
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
817 F. Supp. 1103 (S.D.N.Y. 1993)
In 1958, the Brooklyn Dodgers Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles and became the Los Angeles Dodgers (LA) (plaintiff). MLB Properties, Inc. (plaintiff) had exclusive control over LA’s trademark, “Brooklyn Dodgers.” From 1958 until 1981, LA used the trademark only “in conjunction with items of historical interest,” such as “Old Timer’s Day” at the ballpark. LA made no commercial use of the trademark during that time period. In 1981, LA began using the trademark on clothing and novelty items that it sold. In 1988, Sed Non Olet Denarius, Ltd. (SNOD) (defendant) opened a restaurant in Brooklyn called The Brooklyn Dodger Sports Bar and Restaurant (Restaurant). The Restaurant’s logo was intentionally almost exactly the same as the Brooklyn Dodgers trademark. LA brought suit for trademark infringement. SNOD asserted abandonment as one of its defenses.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Motley, J.)
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