Is America's Past-time Really A Playground Bully?
Major League Baseball thought they were up against a pussy cat but now it looks like they have a tiger by the tail. A seamstress from Central Colorado, Karen Dudnikov, has taken Major League Baseball Properties into the Federal District Court for Colorado alleging they are not playing by the rules. She and her husband are fighting this without help from lawyers.
Karen makes and sells fabric items, often made from copyrighted, licensed fabrics. She sells these items on the internet auction site eBay under the name of Tabberone and on her web site, www.tabberone.com. On March 31, 2003, Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) ordered eBay to terminate 3 auctions that featured fabric items made from their licensed fabrics. Three days later she filed a law suit in federal court alleging MLBP had violated her rights under federal trademark laws and federal copyright laws.
MLBP shut down her auctions claiming she used "protected Major League Baseball-related trademarks without authorization" and that the fabric products, tissue box covers, were derivative works and therefore violations of copyright laws.
"MLBP is just another in a long line of corporation bullies who are trying to use their size and legal thugs to intimidate people when they're not doing anything wrong", says Karen.
Karen has history on her side. This is the fifth billion-dollar company she has tackled over the use of licensed fabrics. Two years ago, Warner Brothers relented after a brief exchange. Then came M&M/Mars, Precious Moments, and Disney Enterprises. She filed a similar lawsuit against Disney on December 24, 2002, only to have Disney offer a settlement a month later. Disney agreed to leave her alone.
MLBP has not yet replied to the lawsuit. After one time extension, their response is due June 23rd, but they have requested another extension.
Karen's logo may be a pussycat but there's a tiger in her tank. The lawsuit is posted on her web site under Trademarks. Karen and Mike can be contacted at 303-913-6075.