“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.

New Sound on SoundCloud: Resolved

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.

Epic savings on WP Engine Hosting this Thanksgiving

I am a huge fan of WP Engine. I’m in the process of moving practically all my sites over to their service. There are a number of reasons, but the biggest ones are:

  • Security. WordPress is fantastic, but any open source product is going to have the occasional security hole, especially after major updates. Some of my stuff, it would be annoying but not fatal for it to go down or get hacked. Other sites, though, are a big deal – like a potentially money-making, meaningful big deal. So I like that there are multiple layers of security built into the hosting product itself.
  • They know WordPress inside and out. There are hosting providers (I’m looking at you, Laughing Squid) that have been on the “recommended providers” list at WordPress.org forever. Like, in the beforetimes when you had to ftp updates onto servers. They are all excellent, but for better or for worse, customer expectations now presume that WordPress administration will be “easy.” On WP Engine, it actually is.
  • I initially got my account for free at WordCamp PDX. Hey, free is good, right? They comped me for chatting with them and learning more. At some point (once the diaspora comes home to a single hosting account) I’m probably going to be paying for the service. But they go out of their way to make it easy to look at their service in a relatively risk-free way.

Speaking of “low risk previews,” WP Engine is offering a coupon code for Thanksgiving weekend that is really quite astonishing: if you sign up for a new account with them and use the code “blackcyber” this weekend, you will get $25 off for three months. That’s Hostgator-level pricing for hosting that would stay up even you become the next viral sensation. That’s a free upgrade to first class. They’re betting that you like it so much that you’ll stay.

I certainly did.

(That link up above is an affiliate link, by the way.)

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!

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