Giants Barred From Trademarking "San Francisco" Logo

Giants GoGo Logos.jpg
Wait! There's a "likelihood of confusion!"
It was that kind of year for the San Francisco Giants. The team scored the fewest runs in the National League -- the fewest runs the team has scored, in fact, since it lost 100 games in 1985.

At the plate, the Giants just couldn't deliver. Bizarrely, the franchise has been unable to do so in the legal realm, either. On Aug. 8, in the midst of the team's epic swoon, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected the Giants' attempt to trademark the script "San Francisco" logo players have worn across their chests since 1993. 

The script "San Francisco" adorning team jackets and paraphernalia for 18 years was spurned "because of a likelihood of confusion" with the script "San Francisco" logos on the fleeces and jackets bought by hapless tourists unaware it gets cold here. That trademark was granted to Hayward-based clothing manufacturer Gogo Sports in earlier this year. In the world of patent and trademark law, when you wait 18 years to make your filings -- as the Giants did -- you can be quick-pitched.

"By not registering it for 18 years, the Giants allowed a junior user to say they started using the font and logo in 2008, and take a lead at the Trademark Office," explains patent and trademark attorney Milord Keshishian.

Following months of legal back-and-forth, Gogo in September filed suit against Major League Baseball and the Giants, requesting declaratory relief regarding allegations "that certain of Gogo's famous SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA sports attire infringe purported trademark and other alleged rights of defendant."

Both parties received a wag of the finger from Keshishian. Gogo, he says, "is trying to argue that the Giants' failure to file for a trademark registration allows third parties to use that particular font. I believe this is misplaced -- The Giants' use of the trademark establishes common-law rights for that particular font even though they don't have the registration."

The Giants, meanwhile, should have taken their trademark bat off their shoulders 18 years ago. "This is a legal effort they could have avoided by simply registering the trademark in 1993."

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Ron
Ron

Let the law decide .... None of us knows anything about trademark laws ... Bunch of crap .... Wow it's like you are driving a non registered car without a license from 1993 ... carelessness of Giants , someone comes to you tells you it is my car registered under my name .... Whom to blame !!!! If you drive a car without license and hit someone ... Even if you are president of this country .... Well here we are talking about Giants !!!!

Ejoyfol
Ejoyfol

the gogo logo looks cheap by comparison and is clearly a copy of the original all the gogo label is trying to do is get something for nothing

Jayhezie
Jayhezie

GoGo can keep their crap cause I will only buy official MLB products!!!!!!

Mike in SF
Mike in SF

Was the GoGo version drawn by a sixth grader in some sort of contest? I mean, that is some amateur work!

Bryce Felperin
Bryce Felperin

Who cares! Seriously, who cares but a bunch of lawyers! This is why our courts are clogged up and why you can't get a court date in a timely manner. Welcome to stupid issues for stupid reasons. A court case for a Logo typeface, not a word or product name but a typeface, is a reason to waste court time and resources. It's a sad day for America!

Jeffreyjack
Jeffreyjack

Take a closer look at the two fonts- they are kind of similar but not by any means"that particular font" as the article reports. The Giants use of a classic hand-drawn script motif is well-balanced and perfected. The GoGo lump is fugly. Kerning is awful, artless and amaturish. At the very least The Giants should win the trademark because they use the name San Francisco with a little respect.

parks4242
parks4242

Take a closer look at the two fonts- they are kind of similar but not by any means"that particular font" as the article reports. The Giants use of the classic script motif is well-balanced and perfected. The GoGo lump is fugly. Kerning is awful, artless and amaturish. At the very least The Giants should win the trademark because they use the name San Francisco with a little respect.

t-dawg
t-dawg

Patents and trademarks are completely separate and distinct legal protections--the "patent law" comment in the third paragraph is bizarre.  (Also, to nitpick even further,the time you wait before filing has nothing to do with whether trademark protection is awarded.)

Mustapha Maalej
Mustapha Maalej

Does that mean only gogo is allowed to use the San Francisco logo or anyone can use it since it doesn't belong to the Giants ???????????????

Sameog
Sameog

No worries.  I wear THE SF Giants logo, trademarked by the MLB.  Who needs Gogo?  By the way, Gogo makes cheap a$$ hoodies.  One wash and they're an XS.  haha

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Maybe the city should register a trademark on the term "San Francisco" and charge $100 per use. It'd make up for the budget problems very quickly.

Tigerclawlafever
Tigerclawlafever

yuo know, that's a great idea. every city should do that. if you sell anything with the city name on it, there should be an additional fee, as a royalty, especially in tourist towns. imagine how much money would be generated from businesses in the wharf area. only fair. It's like making a commission. the city makes a commission on everything with its name on it. Excellent idea.

Akit
Akit

Just wondering about this, does anyone notice that Gogo makes legal lookalike jackets that are somewhat similar to what Giants players and fans wear?  Same black color, orange used, just no Giants logo, MLB logo, and the "San Francisco" is different.

In my opinion, wearing a Gogo jacket at a Giants game is a big frowny face.

Elizabeth Frantes
Elizabeth Frantes

yeah, the poor Giants organization doesn't make enough money . ...

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