The Chicago Cubs have long been tired of the creators of "Billy Cub," an unauthorized mascot who over the past seven years has established a presence in the Wrigleyville area despite the Cubs' demands to go away.
On Friday, the Cubs finally backed up their demands with action, filing a seven-count suit in U.S. District Court against John Paul Weier, Patrick Weier and three unnamed individuals who they claim have portrayed the “Billy Cub” character. Among the charges, the Cubs say the Weiers and company are violating the team’s trademarks, and are also falsely presenting the character as a representative of the team.
The team claims the men are not affiliated with the Cubs in any way, and that they are violating the team’s trademarks by using the character to mislead people into thinking Billy Cub is associated with the team.
The suit claims Billy Cub is engaging in “mascot-like activities” near Wrigley Field, such as dancing with fans or posing for photos and then trying to solicit fees or tips.
The character has also made “rude, profane and derogatory remarks and gesticulations to patrons, ticket holders, fans or other individuals located in the area of Wrigley Field,” according to the suit.
One incident, which was captured on tape and quickly uploaded to Youtube, shows the "Billy Cub" mascot getting into a fight at a Wrigleyville bar following a Cubs' home game on April 5. According to the suit, a man wearing the "Billy Cub" costume, who was identified as Patrick Weier, punched (or bear clawed) a patron for removing his head. That much is clearly visible in the video.
The Cubs suit claims the Billy Cub character has created confusion, and that incident in particular harmed the team’s reputation because people mistakenly attributed Billy Cub’s actions to Clark the Cub, the team's officlal mascot whom they introduced in January .
They look nothing alike, really. Clark is obviously more youthful with the backward cap look, while Billy Cub looks like a grizzled veteran of the mascot game. Still, it's a mistake that's often made, so the Cubs have a case here.
Here's a little more from the Sun Times:
The suit is asking the court to order the Weiers to stop using the Billy Cub character and “deliver for destruction” all merchandise, advertisements, packaging, costumes or other materials related to the character.
By destruction, they obviously mean hand it over to the Cubs so they can quietly dispose of it in the closest bar's dumpster.
In addition to those demands, the Cubs are asking for an unspecified amount of money in damages to cover legal fees, and they'd like to receive all profits the defendants have made from the character.
This is what it's all come down to. It will be interesting to see how the Weiers respond, because they haven't shown much interest in backing down despite many years of threats from the Cubs. Stay tuned, folks. This mascot battle could get ugly!
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