The Overwatch League logo has been a topic of scrutiny for Major League Baseball. The likeness of the two logos is obvious. The Overwatch League logo contains the same white silhouette and two distinct colors on both sides. Additionally, Tracer and the MLB batter are facing the same direction. Clearly, it’s not difficult to see why the MLB pounced on this.
MLB fires back
The fiasco began on April 27, when MLB filed their opposition to granting Overwatch’s trademark. The law firm Morrison & Lee explained the issue in a blog post. “Parties who believe they may be harmed by the impending registration of the mark have 30 days to file one of two things with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board: an opposition to the trademark or a request for more time to file that opposition.” The MLB decided they needed more time to file an opposition. As a result, the board granted the MLB 90 days to examine this issue. The deadline…is July 26.
The fast approaching deadline probably isn’t a huge cause of panic for Blizzard and the Overwatch League. The reason is because companies do this all the time. Every smart business protects their logo if another infringes on it. In this circumstance, the MLB’s logo could be diluted by the Overwatch League. Some might mistake the two leagues for each other. For the MLB, this is bad for business.
Name that logo!
There are numerous examples of logos that exist in harmony. The list includes the NBA vs MLB, Chanel vs Gucci, Bentley vs Mini Cooper, Bank of America vs Amtrak, and more. The similarities are uncanny, making one wonder how they exist together.
The answer lies with the consumer. The casual or even non existent sports fan can differentiate between the NBA and MLB logo. Despite possessing the same colors and silhouette, the player is obviously different. One portrays a batter eyeing a ball while the other displays someone dribbling a ball. It doesn’t take a doctorate to figure this one out.
The NBA and MLB are also extremely distinct sports. They are nothing like each other besides the use of a ball. And if you really want to be a pain, yes, they involve people too. Sports enthusiasts would never mix up the two. However, it is understandable why MLB wants to protect itself. Too many similar logos can potentially dilute the MLB’s image. In a business environment, why take the risk?