Trademark Opposition Filed By LA Angels Is A Terrible Look For The MLB Club
The Los Angeles Angels, owned by Angels Baseball LP, is opposing the registration of two trademarks filed by a charitable entity. The opposition is against Tori’s Angels Foundation, which raises funds to support the families of children who have life-threatening medical conditions.
While the Angels organization may have a sound claim in trademark law to oppose the filings with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, it may not be the most noble of efforts when considering that its opponent is a charitable entity that must now spend resources to respond.
Angels Baseball LP is allegedly concerned that the foundation’s use of “Tori’s Angels” and its logo that includes a larger capital “A” in “Angels” with a halo above the tip of the “A” is likely to confuse people of an association with the baseball team. The professional baseball team references its long-standing use of marks such as “Angels,” “Angel,” “Halos” and “Halo” as well as its popularized design marks that include the use of the capital “A” with a halo at the tip.
However, while the use of the “A” with a halo is similar between the charity and the baseball team and while both organizations use the word “Angels,” there does not seem to be a true threat of confusion. By including the word “Tori’s,” it appears that no one will believe that the Los Angeles Angels are in any way affiliated with the charity. As such, this looks to be one of those instances that the senior user of a mark should have just turned its head and focused on more pressing matters.
Tori’s Angels is not even based anywhere near the baseball team’s operations. Located in Iowa, Tori’s Angels has accepted forty-one children for assistance since 2011 in an effort to make a positive difference in the lives of infants, children and adolescents with life-threatening challenges. One would think that the Los Angeles Angels would be more concerned with the charitable foundation being able to spend money on its mission as opposed to wasting it in defending a trademark opposition action.