Major League Baseball properties have opposed a raft of trademark non-use removal actions brought against them by the Australian Football League. It’s the SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS vs the GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY GIANTS in a trademark showdown.
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The Australian Football League (AFL) has been in operation for well over 100 years. It expanded the national competition in 2009 to include an additional team in Western Sydney called the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
The AFL have filed a number of trademarks in respect of the Greater Western Sydney brand but reached an impasse with a number of existing GIANT marks likely blocking their registration. In December 2012, attorneys for the AFL filed a raft of trademark non-use removal actions against Major League Baseball’s “Giants” trademarks. These include:
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Recently we reported on a trademark war between two breweries, CUB and Thunder Road Brewery in which a number of CUB marks were attacked for non-use by Thunder Road Breweries.
This is another high profile case in which the trademark owner, Major League Baseball, Properties Inc will need to show that they have been using the marks on the goods and services for which they are registered in order to retain the marks on the trademark register. Under the Australian Trademarks Act 1995, a trademark that has not been “in use” for a continuous period of three years or more may be removed (whole or in part) from the trademarks register. The burden is now on Major League Baseball Properties Inc (i.e. the owner of the trademarks) to establish use of the trademarks.
Evidence in Support of the opposition is due on 10 July 2013 (extendible) – so don’t expect a decision any time before the end of this year.