Use of Third Party Trademarked Names and Logos
Recently, we have received some inquiries at Little League International asking for advice on the use of trademarked names and logos, particularly those of Major League Baseball teams.
For more than six decades, Little Leagues have used the names of Major League Baseball teams. That tradition continues today, and will continue for many years to come. Major League Baseball has never restricted any Little League teams from calling themselves “Mets,” “Yankees,” “Cardinals,” “Angels,” or any of its other trademarked names.
However, we also recognize the importance to Major League Baseball of the protection of its trademarks. It is incumbent on any organization, Little League included, to protect its trademarks. To fail to do so can result in those valuable trademarks being lost.
We strongly encourage our leagues who wish to place any trademarked names on a uniform item, including those of Major League Baseball clubs, to use only those items authorized and licensed by Major League Baseball.
It is important to note that unauthorized use of any trademark, including those belonging to Major League Baseball, may result in civil liability by the manufacturer of items bearing those trademarks. So, even though a local Little League that uses shirts with unauthorized Major League Baseball trademarks will not be held liable, it is likely that the business that provided the shirts would be.