Chicago Cubs Bring Trademark Infringement Suit Over Fake Mascot Billy Cub

Published 23 July 2014 By: Joseph M. Hanna

Chicago Cubs Signage
The Chicago Cubs filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against five individuals who allegedly have been dressing in a fake mascot costume near Wrigley Field 1. The complaint claimed that these individuals in their “Billy Cub” outfits not only engaged in “mascot-like activities” but also participated in “unsavory actions.

Like the genuine Cubs mascot Clark the Cub’s costume, the outfit includes Cubs cap and jersey with “Billy Cub” and the number A78 on the back.

The fake mascots solicited tips near the ballpark for dancing or posing with fans for a photo without the team’s permission. Furthermore, Patrick Weier, one of the named defendants, was caught on video, attacking a man in a Wrigleyville bar2. In the video clip, he appears wearing the “Billy Cub” outfit.

Moreover, John Paul Weier, another named defendant, operates promotional websites like billycub78.info that calls Billy Cub as an“unofficial [Cubs] mascot” as well as social media accounts through which he has sold T-shirts that infringe on Cubs trademarks.

In the complaint, the team claimed that the defendants’ unauthorized use of its trademarks created confusion and tarnished the team’s reputation as evidenced by the reactions from social media communities to the video clip that was uploaded to You Tube. Moreover, some media coverage of this incident even misidentified Weier’s “Billy Cub” as an official mascot, according to the complaint.

The suit is seeking the court’s order to ban the use of the Billy Cub character the defendants and to “deliver for destruction” any promotional merchandise related to the fake mascot. In addition, the team wants any references or portrayal of Billy Cub removed from the defendants’ websites and social media accounts.

 

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Author

Joseph M. Hanna

Joseph M. Hanna

Joseph Hanna is a partner of Goldberg Segalla and concentrates his practice in commercial litigation with a focus on sports and entertainment law and retail, hospitality, and development litigation. Joe represents sports franchises, professional athletes, and movie studios with various issues related to licensing, contracts, and day-to-day management. He serves as Chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Sports and Entertainment Law Practice Group and editor of the firm’s Sports and Entertainment Law Insider blog. In addition, Joe is the Chair of Goldberg Segalla's Diversity Task Force. He possesses an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
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