Now, Cape Cod teams are being forced to choose between maintaining a link with the major leagues and remaining true to their homespun heritage. In the case of the Chatham Athletics, homespun is winning out. The team has changed its name to the Anglers to sidestep a trademark dispute with Major League Baseball. The teams have a Nov. 1 deadline to abandon their names or purchase team uniforms and merchandise exclusively through licensed vendors.
The article reports that 1 in 6 major leaguers played in the Cape Cod League at one time.
Thequestion as to the extent to which a trademark owner, for example a franchisor, is able to obligate a licensee to purchase goods from a certain supplier, is an interesting one. If you’re aware of good articles on a ‘tying analysis’ of trademark license, please provide a cite in the comments.
I’m assuming that plaintiff, Cold Stone Creamery, is alleging that defendant, a former franchisee, breached its franchise agreement in such a way that continued use constitutes trademark infringement. There is a problem with the ECF filing here as only the first three pages of the complaint are on Pacer. In any event, the exhibit, the Cold Stone franchise agreement is reproduced and is of interest.