A panel of trademark judges in Washington, D.C., earlier this month denied a request from a private entrepreneur, known as Evil Enterprises, Inc., to register the trademark for the phrase "Baseballs Evil Empire."It is amazing what folks at places like The Onion can do with fictional satire considering how self-satirical the real world so often is. How exactly do the Yankees make money on the Evil Empire concept? Star Wars stormtroopers in Yankee Pinstripes? Darth Vader masks with the Yankees logo on them? They'd have to split that money with the Disney Evil Empire. I hate the Yankees. Every time the Yankees win, a puppy dies somewhere.
Evil Enterprises wanted the exclusive right to market merchandise using that phrase, which was coined in regard to the Yankees by Larry Lucchino, the president and chief executive of the Boston Red Sox, back in 2002. Upon learning that the Yankees had signed sought-after Cuban pitcher Jose Contreras, Lucchino was widely reported as saying: "The evil empire extends its tentacles even into Latin America."
Evil Enterprises initially applied for a trademark back in July of 2008.
But the Yankees objected, arguing that they had the rights to the phrase—at least when used in connection with baseball.
Part of the Yankees' argument: a concession that in the baseball world, they are, in fact, the "Evil Empire." In its legal papers, the team referenced a number of articles from the past decade using the term in connection with the Yankees, and conceded that the team has "implicitly embraced" the "Evil Empire" theme by playing music from Star Wars during their home games.
The panel of judges sided with the Yankees, ruling that the Yankees are strongly associated with the phrase. Allowing anyone else to use the phrase exclusively would likely cause confusion, ruled the judges.
Sunday, February 24, 2013
Yankees Win Rights To Evil Empire Title