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This is not about protecting us.

Will Kuhns, bless his heart, is hewing to the party line:

“We applied for trademark with the fans’ interest in mind. We want to be in a position to protect that name from parties that might be unaffiliated with our fans, our clubs or the league,” said Will Kuhns, MLS director of communications. “That’s basically why we did it.”

Source: Oregon Live

Thank you, sports marketing organization, for protecting our rights in such a way. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that the mark holder is entitled to use the mark in commerce (i.e. sell merchandise featuring the mark). There’s also that small issue that MLS wouldn’t have to trouble themselves over any sort of pesky licensing arrangement with the owner of the trademark if they owned it themselves.

And, as I said in the original post about this, what third party outside the community of interest is going to try to co-opt the mark with any success? Are we talking about international knockoffs for a product that faces unyielding “your ‘soccer’ is crap” attitudes? Because that doesn’t seem like a money-maker.

I have seen a fair whack of comments that say “if the SGs were worried about this, why didn’t they trademark it themselves?” I’ll admit that it was naive to think that such measures would be unnecessary, but this comes down to the essence of fan culture. Supporters aren’t looking to turn a profit. For the most part, the SGs raise money to create art or do good work in the community. To the extent that things like the Cascadia scarf exist, they exist to raise money for the causes listed above.

We see our history, a competition that is about bragging rights and club pride, and the continuing rivalry among clubs in the northwest. MLS sees a lucrative and compelling brand that they can use to make money for their stakeholders. One of these things is not like the other. So yes, we didn’t apply to register the trademark. But that does not mean MLS gets to, whether for the completely nonsense reason of “protecting us,” or for the real reason of monetizing us.

In short, back away from our identity, you vultures.

“Cascadia Cup” Trademark Rundown

Oh MLS, oh MLS, take another bong hit

The notion that MLS has the right to trademark the term “Cascadia Cup” in Canada (or anywhere else) is ludicrous. There, that’s out of the way.

Now, to business. We have two months from the date of advertisement (the date the application appeared in the Trademarks Journal – so far it doesn’t appear that this application has been advertised, but I haven’t scoured all the issues since Dec. 19) to oppose the registration.

Any person (including foreign persons) has standing to oppose the registration of a mark, so long as they have a legitimate beef under Section 38 (linked above). In our case, the legitimate beef is that the Supporter’s Groups use of the term “Cascadia Cup” substantially pre-dates the date filed in MLS’ application. Also, the term (in soccer parlance) can only apply to the three-team competition between the Whitecaps, the Sounders and the Timbers. So MLS has no right to it (see above re: “ludicrous”)

While we’re going through the process of opposing registration in Canada (and, in theory, eventually applying for the trademark there), we also need to apply with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to register “Cascadia Cup.” It’s a shame that we have to do this, but if MLS is going to try to end-run their way around our intellectual property rights, we’re pretty much obliged.

While we’re going through this bullshit, each Supporter’s Group should probably also consider what sort of consolidated entity they want to maintain this kind of nonsense for each group and also for Cascadia as a whole.

I find it hard to stomach the fact that some portion of 107ist’s budget will now have to be applied to lawyers (says the lawyer), but it’s increasingly clear that we’re going to require legal ammunition to maintain our heritage in the face of MLS’ co-option attempts.

I’m hoping that all of this is old news to the board. I’m hoping that the groups already have their heads together and have found a trademark agent already. Because this is stupid, and it cannot stand.

Champions League Group Stage is Done – how’d I do?

It’s all over but the shouting, and you can bet that there’s a lot of that in Glasgow today…

Group winner
Runner-up

Group A

Predicted & Actual

Paris St. Germain (FRA)
Porto (POR)

Zlatan. That is all.

Score: 2/2

Group B

Prediction

Arsenal (ENG)
Olympiacos (GRE)

Actual

Schalke 04 (GER)
Arsenal (ENG)

I don’t know why I bother predicting anything but a second place finish for Arsenal. They’re going to get mauled in the round of 16. Although, perhaps like Chelsea last year, they will take the competition more seriously than normal due to their position in the league table.

Score: 3/4

Group C

Predicted & Actual

Málaga (ESP)
AC Milan (ITA)

Málaga looks really, really good. They seem to be enjoying themselves.

Score: 5/6

Group D

Prediction

Real Madrid (ESP)
Manchester City (ENG)

Actual

Borussia Dortmund (GER)
Real Madrid

The group of death was too much for City, who crumpled in way too many games. Dortmund had a hell of a campaign.

Score: 6/8

Group E

Prediction

Chelsea (ENG)
Juventus (ITA)

Actual

Juventus (ITA)
Shaktar Donetsk (UKR)

I should never have bet against Shaktar. Still, shocking exit for Chelsea. Maybe they used up all their pixie dust last year.

Score: 7/10

Group F

Predicted & Actual

Bayern Munich (GER)
Valencia (ESP)

Bayern look fantastic. Only complete craziness would have kept these two teams from advancing in some order.

Score: 9/12

Group G

Predicted & Actual

Barcelona (ESP)
Celtic (SCO)

Celtic did the whole “miracle at the Old Firm” thing and made the round of 16 for the first time since 2008. They very much need to find some road form or it’s going to be ugly. Worrying injury for Messi, but hopefully it’s nothing.

Score: 11/14

Group H

Predicted & Actual

Manchester United (ENG)
Galatasaray (TUR)

Cluj was incredibly fun to watch. Heartbreaking for them, but I think they’ll go deep in the Europa League.

Final Score: 13/16

80% ain’t bad.

Champions League Predictions – How we doin’ so far?

Many of the groups are settled, despite there being one game to play, so I thought I’d take a quick look at my absurd predictions and see what the score is:

Group A

Porto (POR)
Dynamo Kiev (UKR)
Paris St. Germain (FRA)
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

Right teams, wrong order (for now). PSG host Porto in the final group stage match, and anything but a win will see them come second to the Portuguese powerhouse. Still, a good campaign by both – I believe they were mathematically assured qualification even before the last game. Score: 2/2

Group B

Arsenal (ENG)
Schalke (GER)
Olympiacos (GRE)
Montpellier (FRA)

Arsenal and Schalke are both away for their final games, to Olympiacos and Montpellier respectively. An Arsenal win could put them on top of the group if Schalke loses or draws. Olympiacos is out of the hunt and will enter the Europa league. Score: 3/4

Group C

AC Milan (ITA)
Zenit St. Petersburg (RUS)
Anderlecht (BEL)
Málaga (ESP)

Right teams, right order. It is highly unlikely that Milan wins on tiebreaks. It might actually be impossible. And anyway, Málaga will get at least a point against Anderlecht at home. Score: 5/6

Group D

Real Madrid (ESP)
Manchester City (ENG)
Ajax (NED)
Dortmund (GER)

City didn’t get it done, which I think is really going to sting. It might not lead to Mancini-gate, but dang. Madrid and Dortmund will advance. Score: 6/8

Group E

Chelsea (ENG)
Shaktar Donetsk (UKR)
Juventus (ITA)
Nordsjælland (DEN)

I should never have bet against Shaktar. Chelsea need to beat the Danes and hope that Shaktar beat Juve at home. If Juventus wins, I understand that the tiebreaks favor Shaktar if they’re tied at 10 points with Chelsea. Score: 7/10

Group F

Bayern Munich (GER)
Valencia (ESP)
Lille (FRA)
BATE Borisov (BLR)

Right teams, wrong order (for now). The race is over, it’s just a question of seeds. Score: 9/12

Group G

Barcelona (ESP)
Benfica (POR)
Spartak Moscow (RUS)
Celtic (SCO)

An historic event for Celtic was made slightly less awesome when the lost on the road. Again. They need to win at home against Spartak and hope that Barcelona does to Benfica what it has done in (nearly!) every game in the group stage. Score: 10/14, possibly 11.

Group H

Manchester United (ENG)
Braga (POR)
Galatasaray (TUR)
CFR Cluj (ROU)

What the heck, Cluj? This would be another huge story, but to make it, they’ll have to beat Man U at Old Trafford. So, probably not. Galatasaray are away to Braga, though, so it’s anybody’s guess. Score: 11/16, possibly 12 or 13.

Exciting times!

Champions League Group Predictions 2012-13

It’s that time again! The pots have been swirled, Macca has fondled countless balls, and now we are on the road to the group stages of the Champions League. Some underdogs got massively favorable placement, some contenders for the title will have a fight just to get clear of the group. Thrills and chills and whatnot!

The bolded teams are my prediction to win the group, italics are the runners-up, comments beneath reveal my shocking ignorance of European football.
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