The New York Yankees are claiming in court that they should hold the trademark on the term evil empire, at least as it applies to baseball:
Fans of the New York Yankees might bristle when they hear their team referred to as the “Evil Empire.” But the team itself doesn’t seem to mind, at least judging from a recent legal dust-up over the phrase.
A panel of trademark judges in Washington, D.C., earlier this month denied a request from a private entrepreneur, known as Evil Enterprises, Inc., to register the trademark for the phrase “Baseballs Evil Empire.”
Evil Enterprises wanted the exclusive right to market merchandise using that phrase, which was coined in regard to the Yankees by Larry Lucchino, the president and chief executive of the Boston Red Sox, back in 2002. Upon learning that the Yankees had signed sought-after Cuban pitcher Jose Contreras, Lucchino was widely reported as saying: “The evil empire extends its tentacles even into Latin America.”
Evil Enterprises initially applied for a trademark back in July of 2008.
But the Yankees objected, arguing that they had the rights to the phrase—at least when used in connection with baseball.
This is a level of truth telling by the Yankees that rivals that of the satirical publication The Onion.