Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What Sort of Man Reads 'Jersey Baseball'?

In a post on his blog Jersey Baseball on January 17, my friend Dan proposed "Sussex Highlanders" as a name for the new Can-Am League franchise in Sussex County, New Jersey. Dan noted that the Highlanders nickname would be a tribute to the New York Yankees' original moniker (at least while the franchise has been in New York), but also noted "that could also be a problem, if the Yankees still retain the rights to the name."

Turns out, somebody high up within the Yankees must have read Dan's post.

I decided to check the online records of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to see whether anyone held a registration for the Highlanders trademark. Sure enough, the PTO has received an application to register "New York Highlanders" in connection with baseball apparel, namely "caps, hats, visors, knitted headwear, headbands, bandanas, shirts, T-shirts, tank tops, blouses, sweaters, turtlenecks, pullovers, vests, shorts, pants, slacks, dresses, skirts, overalls, bodysuits, baseball uniforms, jerseys, warm-up suits, jogging suits, sweatshirts, sweatpants, underwear, boxer shorts, robes, sleepwear, thermal loungewear, nightshirts, nightgowns, swimwear, clothing wraps, coats, jackets, ponchos, raincoats, cloth bibs, infant wear, infant diaper covers, cloth diaper sets with undershirt and diaper cover, jumpers, rompers, coveralls, creepers, baby booties, toddler anklets, ties, suspenders, belts, money belts, mittens, gloves, wristbands, earmuffs, scarves, footwear, socks, hosiery, slippers, aprons, sliding girdles and Halloween and masquerade costumes" (pause for breath).

The application for the trademark registration is in the name of New York Yankees Partnership, George M. Steinbrenner, III, principal. The application was filed March 7, 2006, mere weeks after Dan's post. Coincidence? I think not.

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