The Overwatch League may have to change its logo because of the MLB

The Overwatch League could face legal trouble before it’s even got underway, law firm Morrison Lee reports. Following the publication of the league’s logo on March 28th, Major League Baseball (“MLB”) has taken issue with the likeliness and as such looks set to oppose it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 

Morrison Lee outlines that once a trademark is approved, it’s published in a weekly newsletter — “The Official Gazette”. Other parties then have 30 days to file an opposition to the trademark or a request for more time to file an opposition to the “Trademark Trial and Appeal Board”. MLB has requested an extension of time to oppose the logo which has been subsequently accepted. 

Image of Overwatch League Logo

The two logos are somewhat similar, but ultimately the success of the opposition will be based on whether or not the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board believes MLB will suffer harm as a result of the logo design.

Caroline Womack, the author of the piece writes “But does the Overwatch logo deceive fans into thinking the MLB is a participant? And is there really consumer confusion here? With both of these trademarks residing in the realms of sports and entertainment, this could be a tricky one. In the end, the answers are for the TTAB to decide.” 

Should the MLB’s opposition be filed and successful, we will see an alternative design for the Overwatch League’s logo. It’s not likely to cause the league much harm as it’s not yet taken off and there’s an array of different characters for Blizzard to choose from in redesigning it.

Esports Insider says: Could this be seen as MLB feeling threatened by this up and coming “e-Sports fad”? Or is it Riot whispering in the ear of MLBAM and having a prod at a competitor? We jest — and this isn’t a huge deal ultimately as it fundamentally will not stop the OWL going ahead. It may have just increased the workload of Blizzard’s design team.