–Cathy Dahl, Attorney

When we aren’t playing baseball in the backyard or at little league baseball games, we watch a lot of baseball. Mostly the Twins, but it doesn’t take the M & M boys to bring us together in front of the television. The other day a friend of mine was celebrating a special birthday of a family member, and they had great seats to the Nationals vs. Twins game. So I watched in part because I wanted to see him on television. I very quickly got distracted by the big Red “W” plastered all over the Nationals’ stadium, and honestly for a moment believed that somehow Walgreen’s was sponsoring the team.

I mean look at these:

Walgreen’s Logo                                                Washington Nationals Logo


This isn’t a new discovery, by any means. But what surprised me is that the Washington Nationals have been pretty aggressive in enforcing their rights at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. They have opposed or sought extensions of time to oppose marks such as THE BIG “W” for radio broadcasting and internet radio broadcasting services; W & Design for “entertainment services, namely, providing a web site featuring photographic, audio, video and public affairs programming”; and W SHOES for “on-line retail store services featuring shoes, socks, hosiery, handbags, jewelry and eyeglasses.”

In the W SHOES Consolidated Opposition/Petition for Cancellation, the Washington Nationals set forth the progression of their stylized “W” (which harkens back to what does “W” mean to the Washington Nationals?):

The Opposition further states that the Washington Nationals use the stylized “W” in “connection with baseball games and exhibition services and a wide variety of goods and services, including, but not limited to on-line and retail store services; clothing, including, without limitation, shoes, socks, hosiery, slippers, jackets, caps, dresses, ties and wristbands; bags; jewelry. Amazingly, the Opposition then goes on to assert that “[a]s a result of the sales and promotion of goods and services bearing or offered in connection with Opposer’s W Marks, Opposer has built up highly valuable goodwill in Opposer’s W Marks, and said goodwill has become closely and uniquely identified and associated with Opposer.”

Which is why I guess I thought Walgreen’s was sponsoring a baseball team?