A baseball apparel company in New York which sought to trademark the phrase, “The Judge’s Chambers,” has struck out.
While fans wait to see how far New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge will go this postseason, an attempt to trademark the phrase, “The Judge’s Chambers” will go no further after the United States Patent Office denied a request by a baseball apparel company in New York.
According to the ruling from the USPTO, the application was submitted by Block Industries, LLC. Block is a parent company of several other holdings, which includes 7th Inning Stretch baseball apparel. It’s likely that Block sought the trademark for 7th Inning Stretch to use in capitalizing on Judge’s fame.
The irony is that is the exact reason why the trademark application was denied. The ruling states that the trademark would create a “false connection” to Judge, and that connection is deemed false because the application did not include written consent from Judge.
Block has six months to respond to the ruling, in which time it could go one of three routes. It could reach out to Judge’s representation and see if a royalty or lump sum deal could be reached to secure the written consent that could result in the trademark being awarded. If that’s too rich for Block’s tastes, 7th Inning Stretch could simply start producing “The Judge’s Chambers”-themed apparel without a trademark and risk a possible complaint being raised against the company by Judge or another party with a tangible connection to him. Finally, Block could abandon the project altogether.
If Block is unable to secure the consent or abandons the project, that opens the door for Judge himself or another entity with a more concrete connection to him to apply for a trademark on the same phrase. It’s possible that MLB or the Yankees could apply to trademark the phrase, and then start producing merchandise with the theme, license it to other companies, or both.
Whether some other entity who has a more tangible connection to Judge, like the rookie slugger himself, will file their own application for a trademark on “The Judge’s Chambers” remains uncertain. What is certain is that the term has some economic value, so it would be wise to do so.