The Cleveland Guardians roller derby team went to federal court Wednesday in an attempt to block the Cleveland Indians from rebranding as the “Guardians,” months after the MLB club offered under $10,000 for rights to the name.
The baseball team announced in July that it would be known as the Cleveland Guardians after the current season. The rub? A roller derby team has used the Guardians name with a similar winged logo since 2013 — and has held the clevelandguardians.com domain since 2014.
Lawyers for Gary Sweatt, owner of the Guardians roller derby team, filed the lawsuit in Ohio Northern District Court:
- The suit includes a request for an injunction to prevent the baseball club from using the Cleveland Guardians name.
- The baseball club offered “to pay a nominal amount” to Sweatt for the rights to the name in June, which Front Office Sports confirmed was less than $10,000.
“It is inconceivable that an organization worth more than $1B and estimated to have annual revenues of $290M+ would not at least have performed a Google search,” Sweatt’s attorneys wrote in the complaint.
The Indians’ statement to FOS: “We have been and continue to be confident in our position to become the Guardians. We believe there is no conflict between the parties and their ability to operate in their respective business areas.”