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The non-profit amateur baseball competition Little League has claimed social media have caused an increase in cases of its trademark being infringed.
In an interview with the sports website of the Pennsylvania State University, Penn Live, Patrick Wilson, senior vice president of operations and program development at Little League, said “the growth of trademark infringement is attributed mostly to social media”.
Wilson also stated that the organisation’s annual report listed 45 instances of trademark infringement in the year ending September 30, 2013.
“Protecting our name and brand identity, which is a point of differentiation, is extremely important to our organisation,” he said.
The organisation holds the rights to the trademark ‘Little League’, ‘Little Leaguer’ and ‘Little League Baseball’, as well as the Little League logo, which features a white silhouette of a player hitting a ball on top of a blue and red stitched baseball, with the words ‘Little League’ on top and ‘Baseball’ on the bottom.
Other variations include a white silhouette of a player cheering and a child with a parent.
Protecting its trademarks online is increasingly a problem for the amateur baseball organisation.
A lawsuit filed in July at the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleged that the domain alittleleaguelearningcenter.com and alittleleaguelearning.com, managed by the Florida-based A Little League Learning Center, infringed its trademark.
Social media; trademark infringement; Little League