Report: MLB Considers Trademark Dispute With Overwatch League Over Logo Similarities

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

The new Overwatch League went with a pretty tried-and-true blueprint for its logo design: the white outline of a player against a colorful, two-tone background. Just like the NBA or MLB, pretty much, except with orange and black instead of red and blue. (Trailblazers!) But the fledgling league could have a trademark problem. MLB determined that the logo might be too similar to its own and filed for time to oppose it—though their window to file an official opposition to the logo is now nearing its end.

As noted in a post on the website of law firm Morrison / Lee, the Overwatch League’s logo was approved for a trademark on March 28. Under the standard practice of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, this meant that any other parties with trademarks of their own had one month to respond to the logo—either to oppose it outright or to request more time to be able to oppose—before the logo’s trademark would actually be registered. Just one day before the end of that 30-day window, MLB filed for a 90-day extension to investigate the likeness of the Overwatch League’s logo to its own and potentially oppose it. Their request was considered valid and they were granted the extension immediately.


That 90-day extension expires next week, though, and MLB has yet to submit official opposition to the logo. If they choose to oppose the Overwatch League here, there are a few potential avenues for justification as noted by Mashable—that the similarities between the logos could cause confusion for consumers and lead them to believe that the leagues are affiliated, or that the similarities could dilute MLB’s brand and the strength of its own logo.

Of course, the fact that the NBA’s logo already exists with its own significant similarities to MLB’s might dilute those arguments. And besides, Overwatch’s Tracer bears very little resemblance to Not Harmon Killebrew.


[Morrison / Lee]