Wanted to check in with everyone on some updates to the QBC
First off, Dan and I are working on when we can bring back a live QBC this year. We miss our fellow fans and want to be able to hang with everyone again. Stay tuned for updates coming in the next few weeks.
Second, I wanted to let you know some of the behind the scenes stuff that goes on with running the QBC. While we have been waiting for the world to get back as close to it was before the pandemic, we have had to deal with a few issues. You all know about the Yahoo incident with our trademark we had a few years ago. Well as it turned out Yahoo was just the first incident. Over the last year we had to protect the QBC trademark a few more times.
Last year, a former professional athlete (who will remain nameless) approached asking to use the QBC trademark with permission. We talked about it internally and told them that as long as they acknowledged that it was our trademark and that they are using it with permission of the Queens Baseball Convention LLC, paid the legal expenses for it, and paid us a reasonable fee (which is standard practice), we would be cool with it. (Just so you all know, the fee we were asking was relatively very small – it wouldn’t have even covered the cost of putting on one of our events. The QBC is not about us making a lot of money as you all know).
The former professional athlete said no thank you, but they promised us that “as a person of their word” they would not use the QBC mark in any way within their product/website/social media/programs.
You can probably see where this is going.
Remember the old saying, trust but verify? We regularly do Google checks on “QBC” to see if anyone is trying to use our trademark. I know it sounds silly, but if you don't challenge businesses/folks who try to use your trademark you can lose the rights to it and all that money and time you have invested in it can go by the wayside. Of course we found that this former professional athlete went against their word and was using our trademark in multiple ways. After we reached out to them they pled ignorance, saying they didn't realize what they was did was wrong. They tried to shift the blame to interns and others for using “QBC” within their website URL and social media accounts/posts. We gave them a chance to fix it and had to go back and forth for a few months with our lawyer and their lawyer, racking up legal fees in the process. Given this former professional athlete had given their word to be true to their agreement not to use our mark, we requested that they pay the legal fees we took on when they violated their word. Not shockingly, that former professional athlete and his team of lawyers refused to pay the fees (and accused us of trying to make a cash grab).
In the end everything QBC has been scrubbed from their site and their social media accounts. We are out money but at least we protected our brand from yet another "big fish" that thought they could just do what they wanted.
In a separate incident we also had to deal with another sports org/group that was using our QBC trademark not only on their site but was selling merch with it as well. Unlike the former professional athlete, this organization complied rather quickly after a quick email from our lawyer.
Who knew that QBC was such a popular 3 letter word mark!