The Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL) filed the original complaint against Cuffy's back in March in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
The suit alleged that Cuffy's had been selling items like T-shirts and mugs that bear "Cape Cod Baseball" branding. CCBL asserted that Cuffy's is not licensed to sell products with "Cape Cod Baseball" branding. The league further stated that the Cuffy's merch violates trademarks it holds on the term "Cape Cod Baseball."
Cuffy's countered with a June court filing in which the retailer asserted it had not committed trademark infringement or other wrongdoing, in part arguing that a trademark on the term "Cape Cod Baseball" had been canceled in December 2021. Cuffy's asked for the complaint to be dismissed with prejudice, and for the retailer to be awarded costs and attorney fees.
The strong retort suggested a contentious trial was potentially in the coming, but now the sides look poised to give mediation a go instead.
Trademark and copyright issues related to merch can be a tricky subject for companies operating in the promo products industry. When ASI Media first reported on the suit, promo pros chimed in on the case on social media, with some questioning the fairness and validity of trademarking a term like "Cape Cod Baseball."
Cape Cod is a popular tourist destination. Cuffy's, with locations there, specializes in selling various types of merchandise with Cape Cod-themed branding.
Founded in 1923, the Cape Cod Baseball League is a nonprofit organization that consists of 10 teams. Some of the best up-and-coming prospects in the sport come to play in the league. Many who have played CCBL have gone on to become professional stars in Major League Baseball. They include Frank Thomas, Chuck Knoblauch, Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Bagwell, Robin Ventura, Evan Longoria, Kris Bryant, Carlton Fisk, Thurman Munson, Buster Posey, Aaron Judge, Jacoby Ellsbury, Tim Lincecum, Marcus Stroman and Walker Buehler.
CCBL maintains an online store through which it sells its official branded merchandise. The league also sells swag through licensed third-party vendors, such as prepsportswear.com.