In one of the biggest cases of “pick your battles,” the owners of the Atlanta Braves baseball team are reportedly “in negotiations” with Disney Pixar over the title of their next big release, Brave. Because it’s called “Brave,” and that is also the singular version of “Braves,” and now there is a trademark battle that the Atlanta Braves have chosen to pursue. Because apparently, after experiencing one of the worst collapses in baseball history, the Braves need a victory, so they’re going after Disney …? Yeah, guys. This is a great plan.
According to Stitch Kingdom, the Atlanta National League Baseball Club, which owns the Atlanta Braves, has filed “a formal objection” to Disney’s trademark application to the word “Brave.” Even though the Braves do not have a trademark on the singular “Brave” (trademarks are specific to singular and plural words), they still believe that referring to a single member of the team as a “Brave” is still common enough to warrant a complaint against Disney. Because of this, and also because the singular “Brave” has been used on official team merchandise, the Club believes that Disney’s trademark will cause “damages.” (Though Stitch Kingdom conducted their own search to find Atlanta Braves merchandise featuring the word “Brave” and came up pretty short.)
Obviously, they did not take issue when the same exact movie was called The Bear and the Bow.
However, while this is not an actual lawsuit (right now, at least), negotiations are taking place between Disney and the team owners “in regards to several of the objected filings with the ball club intending to file an objection against yet another of the registrations.”
While I will not claim to be an expert in trademark law, this feels extremely frivolous on the part of the Braves. To my knowledge (and following a quick search on Google), the New York Mets have never sued either the Metropolitan Museum of Art, commonly referred to as “The Met,” or the Metropolitan Opera House, which is also commonly referred to as “The Met.” And all three of these well-known establishments are based in New York. But now the Atlanta Braves (who, coincidentally, are a major rival of the NY Mets) have not only chosen to go after a globally-known organization, but a globally-known organization that is famous for their lawyers.
So, good luck with that, Braves.
Top pic via Bleeding Cool