Document Type


Publication Date

January 1994


Baseball is big business, both cumulatively and on an individual team basis. An important component of the monies earned are revenues generated from the names of the teams and their respective distinctive logos. Unfortunately, in this age of limited loyalties and financial pressures individual teams have become transient. This gives rise to some interesting questions concerning the names and logos in the context of their association with the team's prior location. What happens to the name of the team when the team leaves town? Do the name and the logo of the former team belong to the world, or at least to that community? Who owns the names of the St. Louis Browns or the Boston Braves? If and when a new team moves into town, is it free to adopt the name of the departed team? Suppose that, someday, Major League Baseball decides to give the people of the nation's capital another opportunity to support a team, can the owners of the new team call it the Washington Senators?

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