A youth lacrosse team in British Columbia has quickly learned about the world of intellectual property theft this week when the Vancouver Canucks told them they had to change their uniforms.
The youth team (which appears to have no name) opted to use an altered Vancouver Canucks alternate logo for use in the “Top Cheese” lacrosse exhibition in Langley, B.C. The logo originally had been Tweeted by Global TV’s epicly-named Squire Barnes in June to include a lacrosse stick and shoes in place of a hockey stick and skates, the intent of Barnes’ Tweet was as a proposed logo for the Vancouver Stealth National Lacrosse League team. The Stealth were recently purchased by the Canucks. So taking from the Canucks and Mr. Barnes would actually make this two thefts… I guess?
Anyways, when a photo of the youth team’s undeniably awesome uniforms hit social media, Vancouver-area sports fans quickly jumped to the conclusion that these must be the new uniforms for the Stealth… especially considering these youth team jerseys had *also* included the Stealth’s logo on the front of their jerseys. Three thefts?
Faced with the logos of both their sports teams being used without their permission the Canucks told the team they were to stop using the uniforms as soon as this tournament ended.
“We were made aware that a local jersey company created and supplied jerseys for a team to participate in a weekend lacrosse tournament,” says a statement from Canucks Sports & Entertainment on GlobalNews.ca. “The use has created confusion as we are heading into a team and logo launch for Vancouver’s new National Lacrosse League Team.”
While the knee-jerk reaction here is that the Canucks are being a bunch of bullies and they should just let a youth team use their mark as their primary identity you should keep in mind that the Canucks absolutely have a legal obligation to protect their trademark *and* that their ire seems to be more directed at the uniform company which produced and sold their designs. Not to mention the Canucks are both allowing the team to continue wearing them for the remainder of the tournament and helping them out when it comes to getting their new uniforms following the event.
All I hope to come from this incident is the team sees just how popular their “Johnny Canuck” alternate logo is and to incorporate it onto their actual on-ice uniforms, the logo has been wasting away for the past decade as a retail-only element. Let’s go!