Guardians In a Battle

Will the real Cleveland Guardians please stand up? If you are not a Clevelander or have been under a rock check out or  and tell me what you think.  On the surface, our hometown Cleveland Guardians are a roller derby team based out of Parma Ohio owned as a non-profit by Gary Sweatt.
Here comes Paul Dolan.  The owner of the Cleveland baseball team and their deep pockets that have roots all the way to the East African island nation of Mauritius.  Wait what does that mean? On April 8th, 2021 the Cleveland baseball team underhanded the real Guardians and filed a trademark in Mauritius for the name.  Meaning the front office who were hyping up a new name and pulling on the strings of the fans’ hearts for months already knew prior to July 23rd what the name was going to be.
In addition, the attorneys for the Cleveland baseball team finally reached out to Mr. Sweatt on June 10th informing him that they are considering changing the name of the Indians to the Guardians.  Interesting fact one: they filed paperwork nearly two months prior.  Interesting fact two: they knew there was already a Cleveland Guardian’s team with established websites and selling merchandise. Uh-oh.
One would have to imagine this is a major concern for Mr. Sweatt.  A major league baseball team was going to (at the time) possibly bully away from the team that he legally trademarked with the state of Ohio in 2017, and which they operated under since 2013.  Mr. Sweatt did what I would consider a smart business decision.  He offered to sell the Cleveland baseball team all rights to the name Cleveland Guardians.  What other option does a non-profit roller derby team have when a billion-dollar business comes after you?
The Cleveland baseball team countered Mr. Sweatts’ offer with an offer that he would consider “unreasonable” and that was likely “no more than 15 minutes of annual revenue”.   Mr. Sweatt would counter and not hear back from the baseball organization.  The organization would continue to push forward and continue to squeeze Mr. Sweatt and the Guardians by returning to Mauritius.  This time they filed for a new trademark for their team that included the logo.
On July 22, 2021, the day before the big announcement the Cleveland baseball team swore and affirmed to the U.S. Trademark Office that “No other person had the right to use the Cleveland Guardians mark.”  This also included a trademark on merchandise sales as well.  That is interesting because according to Mr. Sweatt he also sent the organization as requested an image of his Guardians logo.  One has to ask how did the Cleveland baseball team swear that no one else uses this name?
For nearly three month’s Mr. Sweatt and the Cleveland baseball team were in negotiations assumingly for the rights of the Cleveland Guardians.  When those negotiations broke down, Mr. Sweatt with nothing to lose stepped right up filed a federal complaint and requested a jury trial- all of this on 10/26/21.
This would appear why that you cannot purchase official Cleveland Guardians baseball merchandise- makes sense.  If the Cleveland baseball team wants to be the Guardians give Mr. Sweatt and the roller derby team reasonable compensation and make this go away.  You already look foolish trying to strong-arm a non-profit organization. Good for you Mr. Sweatt for standing up for yourself and your team.
I hope this goes one of two ways: the baseball team returns our beloved “Indians” back to the field (yes I have a better shot at winning the Powerball) or (the most likely solution) the Dolans have to pay the Guardians- especially since they do not want to pay anyone for their baseball services this makes the most sense.


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