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  • The Washington Walgreens

    Just curious, does anyone know why the Nationals and Walgreens have the same logo? How has there not been a trademark battle?

    walgreens-nationals2.jpg

  • #2
    walgreens.jpg

    An early Walgreens logo (note the reverse flourish as well as "Walgreen" with no s)


    I don't really know about a logo dispute but perhaps because there's no real conflict of interest between a drug store and a baseball team it's not an issue? I know the Walgreens logo was in use before WWII. The Washington Nationals Curly W goes back to 1963.

    Originally used by the Expansion Senators (the franchise created after the original Nationals/Senators moved to Minnesota after the 1960 season), it was also known as a "pretzel W" in baseball circles. When the expansion Senators moved to Texas and became the Rangers (the last Senators' game was 44 years ago today, by the way), they took the uniform rights and, I believe, the name with them. I remember when the move of the Expos to DC was announced at the end of the 2004 season, the people involved at the press conference all wore red curly W ballcaps. The name Nationals name was made official later.
    Last edited by bryanac625; 09-30-2015, 05:03 PM.

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    • #3
      I'm no lawyer but I think there has to be some clear cut conflict (in very similar or even same industries, like Coca-Cola** vs Pepsi-Cola for example) involved to have a trademark dispute over 2 similar but different, (look closely and carefully) script W's by vastly unrelated industries. I think (I could easily be wrong or have the two wrong companies) that I recall reading when Domino's Pizza first burst onto the National scene, they were sued by Domino Sugar Corp. for trademark infringement. Dominos Pizza (IIRCC) won the case because the judge ruled that no one was going to confuse a sugar refiner with a (then) pizza making and delivery company unless one or the other went to great lengths to try and intentionally cause that confusion. (And why would either have any interest in doing that?)

      So I think both parties are safe to continue on with whatever use they make of their respective W's. Perhaps a trademark or copyright lawyer could weigh in here, if there is one on the Fever.

      I had also thought they were in those Red W caps at the victory press conference because the name and uniform of the 1961-1971 Senators was on the way back. (Which would have been my choice.) I was surprised when they took the name Nationals but it's still a cool name, captures the feel of the nation's capital nicely.

      ================================================== ===========

      ** Coca-Cola is of course famous for the all-out legal savagery with which they relentlessly protect their valuable trademarks from any sort of infringement at all. Nothing in the form of illegal use passes by them un-noticed, they have a department that does nothing but scrutinize all forms of media and or competition to make sure their trademarks, the most recognizable and valuable in the world; never come even close to any sort of public domain classification. JMHO, but I don't think these 2 W's are even close to being a valid disputable issue.
      Last edited by Calif_Eagle; 04-14-2016, 01:58 PM. Reason: missing text added

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      • #4
        As I recall, there was no official name chosen at the time of the 2004 press conference. Some were saying the name should be the Washington Expos. Others wanted them named after the Homestead Grays, who played some of their games in DC. I'm all for glory and honor going to the Negro Leagues but "Grays" is just not a marketable name for a sports team.

        I believe most people, including myself, would have preferred Washington Senators. But times have changed. I like "Nationals" because it's historic and not a stupid sounding name like some teams end up with. By the way, "Nationals" was the first nickname to appear on a Major League Baseball uniform, way back in 1905. But it only lasted for two years.

        1905al.png

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        • #5
          lol,don't worry about it.no one is complaining.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bryanac625 View Post
            By the way, "Nationals" was the first nickname to appear on a Major League Baseball uniform, way back in 1905. But it only lasted for two years.
            I find that odd because, according to Baseball-Reference, in 1905 the team was the Washington Senators (not the Nationals). Baseball-Reference identifies several Washington Nationals squads. In 1872 and 1875, the Nationals were part of the National Association. 1884, there was a Washington Nationals team in the Union Association. From 1886 to 1889, there was one in the National League. But, in the American League, from 1901 to 1960, it was the Washington Senators.

            Now I think I remember reading that, in the dawn of time, a team would occasionally be referred to as "Nationals" simply to distinguish a team that was in the National League from another team from the same city that might be in another league, such as the American League (or, earlier, the American Association). So, for example, one might find a reference to the Boston Nationals (the Braves) to distinguish them from the Boston Americans (the Red Sox). But that still doesn't explain the picture above--an American League team wouldn't be called "Nationals" in that sense.

            So can anybody straighten me out on this? Why would the Senators have "Nationals" on their chest when they were in the American League?
            "You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one one of them."--Pee Wee Reese

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            • #7
              Take all of those nicknames listed on Baseball-Reference and in every other website and books with very large grains of salt. Listing those nicknames are a disservice to research. They should just list the cities and have a section where nicknames are discussed. Some teams even had different nicknames by different newspapers. Most teams in the old days did not even have official names, but the Washington AL team was known as the Nationals in 1905 as the result of a fan contest. 'Nationals' was announced as the winning name on March 25, 1905. It was felt it was a sentimental choice that was reminiscent of good teams in Washington, while the team had struggled when known as the Senators.

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              • #8
                Interesting! Thank you!
                "You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one one of them."--Pee Wee Reese

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                • #9
                  I will say having a National League team named the Nationals does bug me a little. Though, the sports nickname that bugs me most is Houston Texans. THough, given how bad kids are at geography, maybe it was done for educational purposes. (yeah, I know the real reason was probably something to do with the old Dallas Texans)

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                  • #10
                    They should have reinstated the Senators name when the Expos moved. "Nationals" just sounds so corporate and generic.
                    They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Phils V. Pirates View Post
                      I find that odd because, according to Baseball-Reference, in 1905 the team was the Washington Senators (not the Nationals). Baseball-Reference identifies several Washington Nationals squads. In 1872 and 1875, the Nationals were part of the National Association. 1884, there was a Washington Nationals team in the Union Association. From 1886 to 1889, there was one in the National League. But, in the American League, from 1901 to 1960, it was the Washington Senators.

                      Now I think I remember reading that, in the dawn of time, a team would occasionally be referred to as "Nationals" simply to distinguish a team that was in the National League from another team from the same city that might be in another league, such as the American League (or, earlier, the American Association). So, for example, one might find a reference to the Boston Nationals (the Braves) to distinguish them from the Boston Americans (the Red Sox). But that still doesn't explain the picture above--an American League team wouldn't be called "Nationals" in that sense.

                      So can anybody straighten me out on this? Why would the Senators have "Nationals" on their chest when they were in the American League?
                      The official name of the Washington AL club that became the Twins in 1961 was "Nationals" from 1901** to about 1955 to 1956. The name Senators was a true nickname in that it was in popular use by the fans and the media as well. (like Cleveland Indian fans calling "Dunn Field" League Park as they always had, sort of.) As I understand it, "Senators" never appeared on a jersey on the Griffith family owned version of the team ever. All they used was a large uninspiring block "W" on the caps and one side of the jersey. (Not unlike the boring Block "C" the Indians' pandering leadership is foisting off on us today.)

                      In 1955 or 1956, amidst speculation that the team was contemplating a move out of DC, Calvin Griffith officially named the team "The Senators" and possibly it went on the jersies at some time between then and 1960, I am not sure. Griffith said he was reaffirming his commitment to playing in Washington with this action. (Although we'll all soon see what that wound up meaning by 1960.)

                      I've always thought his true reason was the popularity of the musical and movie "Damn Yankees" in 1954 which featured a mythical "Senators" (not "Nationals") miracle Pennant run up from out of nowhere. Griffith or his lawyers may have been afraid of the fact that the club actually had no trademark protection on the name Senators and thought they ought to get some, in that it had long since become the common way to refer to the club.

                      The media frequently called the original 1901-1960 team "The Nats" in print, short for NATIONALS... not SeNATors as most think.

                      This is the story as I understand it to be. If someone has more knowledge or can paint a more detailed picture (or a more correct or precise one) please feel free to add.

                      ** apparently per Macker's post, since 1905. I stand corrected. What was the official name from 1901-1904?
                      Last edited by Calif_Eagle; 05-31-2016, 11:14 PM. Reason: clarity + content

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Calif_Eagle View Post
                        I'm no lawyer but I think there has to be some clear cut conflict (in very similar or even same industries, like Coca-Cola** vs Pepsi-Cola for example) involved to have a trademark dispute over 2 similar but different, (look closely and carefully) script W's by vastly unrelated industries.

                        --snip--
                        .
                        The Univ of Wisconsin likes to protect their *W* 'logo'.

                        They did the 'cease and desist' route with a local high school football team using a similar *W*.

                        Would not want to confuse a small-town HS football team with the Badgers.


                        Apparently they have challenged other football programs as well, old page link below.


                        ...tom...

                        http://www.vegastrademarkattorney.co...trademark.html

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sleeper54 View Post
                          .
                          The Univ of Wisconsin likes to protect their *W* 'logo'.

                          They did the 'cease and desist' route with a local high school football team using a similar *W*.

                          Would not want to confuse a small-town HS football team with the Badgers.


                          Apparently they have challenged other football programs as well, old page link below.


                          ...tom...

                          http://www.vegastrademarkattorney.co...trademark.html
                          I have read other stories that indicate other NCAA D1A teams and MLB and the NFL as well have been "bigfooting" HS and youth sports to "protect" their trademarks. I think even the famous wood bat summer college Cape Cod League had to stop using MLB names colors and uni designs.

                          My personal opinion on this practice is mixed. I get they don't want to go down the road of "cellophane" "aspirin" "escalator" and God knows how many other terms that fell into the Public Domain. I understand that Band-Aid and Coca-Cola want to protect their intellectual property too (I would think "Band-Aid" is perilously close to becoming a PD term, no one calls Curad or any other type of Bandages anything else but "Band-Aids" as far as I have ever heard.)

                          On the other hand... I don't think use at the HS level and particularly the youth level like Pop Warner, Little League etc threatens NFL or NCAA D1A interests all that much... It seems like reasonable people could work something out that would allow youth and even HS teams at least to suit up looking like the Cardinals ( A very popular HS nickname) without killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

                          I knew a school that used to use the (then) St Louis Football Cardinals helmet emblem for years and no one ever said a thing. I think suddenly they got a C & D letter on that. What's funny is the uniforms were different enough that you could tell a team photo of each squad apart easily. (Back then the HS team had fancier uni's with more white trim on the red, believe it not.) I think that's pretty Mickey Mouse** myself re: the C & D letter. Killing ants with an elephant gun. (**See how easy it is? I bet a get a letter from Disney anytime now lol.)
                          Last edited by Calif_Eagle; 05-31-2016, 11:21 PM.

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                          • #14
                            First thing my wife said when she learned I was a Nationals fan... "Walgreens has a baseball team?"

                            Personally, sure, there similarity, but it's like the difference between Times Roman font and Garamond to me... different enough, and no big deal.
                            www.facebook.com/UnifyBaseball

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