Guardians settle lawsuit over name exclusivity

CLEVELAND – Cleveland will have two teams called Guardians.

The Major League Baseball franchise and a local roller skating club have settled a lawsuit filed over the use of the Guardians name, allowing both to continue using it.

On Tuesday, the parties jointly announced a “friendly resolution,” an agreement that allows the Indians to continue their change to Guardians, a change that was delayed due to legal matter and is not fully completed.

No other terms of the deal were disclosed.

The legal fight was another hurdle on a long road to the Indians’ official name change, whose decision to leave the Indians angered some fans and alienated others. The American League team has been known as the Indians since 1915.

Next season it will be the Guardians, a name chosen after a year-long process that grew out of a national recognition of racist names and symbols.

Last month, the Cleveland Guardians roller skating team, which was formed in 2013, filed a lawsuit alleging that the change of the Indians baseball team to the Guardians infringed its trademark and employed deceptive business practices, violating a state law.

“A major league club cannot just take the name of a smaller team and use it for itself,” the lawsuit says.

“There can’t be two ‘Cleveland Guardians’ teams in Cleveland and, to be frank, the plaintiff was here first.”

Now that the legal mess has been resolved, the Guardians baseball team can begin selling merchandise. The team hoped to have new shirts and hats on store shelves in time for Christmas shopping.

Earlier this month, the team began removing the Indies signs in and around Progressive Field.


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Guardians settle lawsuit over name exclusivity