18
Apr/03

Spalding Sells Rights in Spaldeen Business


Spalding has announced that it will sell its non-golf business to Russell Athletic.  This article says that the sale will include ownership of the SPALDING name for those sporting goods, making SPALDING one of the better known split-ownership marks.

The article does not mention the SPALDEEN mark.  If you grew up in New York City, then you owned a Spaldeen, period.  I will not go into a maudlin reverie about stickball now but I wouldn’t mind a quick game of chinese handball.  The name derived from the Noo Yawk attempt to pronouce Spalding.  At some point the company woke up to the prevalence of the alternate name and acquired a federal registration for SPALDEEN covering high bounce balls.

Other companies have aquired protectable rights in nicknames for their products created by the public, COKE, HOJO, AMEX, MICKEY D’s and BIG BLUE being examples.  SUNNY D is probably not an example as I doubt anyone other than a copywriter ever used that term. Usually the companies adopt those nicknames and they become plain old trademarks, sometimes they can assert rights merely on the use by the public.  An excellent summary of the caselaw on the protectability of brand nicknames by the Arent Fox firm is here.

History of the Spaldeen, chinese handball and asses-up here.

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