Pittsburgh Pirates Oppose "WHITWORTH PIRATES" for Clothing
I'll be you don't know where Whitworth University is. Answer here. Whitworth filed four applications to register the mark WHITWORTH PIRATES, in standard character and design form, for educational services, entertainment services (sports teams), and clothing, but the Pittsburgh Pirates have opposed. Pittsburgh Associates v. Whitworth University, Opposition No. 91187263.
The Pittsburgh Pirates own registrations for the mark PIRATES in various classes, including classes 25 (clothing) and 41 (entertainment). They claim likelihood of confusion and false association.
As is typical in these major league baseball cases, the proceeding has been suspended pending settlement negotiations.
Do you think there's a likelihood of confusion in the real world? As to the class 25 identification of goods, would it have helped if the clothing items were limited to goods "sold in connection with a college sports program"? Would a similar limitation have helped in class 41? How do all those little league teams get away with being the "Pirates?"
Text Copyright John L. Welch 2009.