The Red Sox could be sued over “B-Strong”

44 Comments

This hit the news two weeks ago, but I missed it because I was derping around Florida. It appears that no resolution has been announced yet, however, so it’s still an operative controversy, as we in the controversy business say.

A Texas-based foundation — The Braden Aboud Memorial Foundationhas been in negotiations with the Boston Red Sox over the latter’s use of the “B-Strong” logo and slogan. The foundation, named after 14-year-old Braden Aboud, who died in a skiing accident — trademarked “B-Strong” for its charitable efforts in 2007. According to Aboud’s father, who runs the foundation, the Aboud foundation’s trademark is getting confused with and potentially overtaken by Red Sox-related “B-Strong” imagery in Google searches and the like. Which is kind of a big problem when you have a trademark for a similarly-purposed undertaking. Here, charitable efforts.

Also a problem: the Sox, while diverting a portion of “B-Strong” merchandise revenues to charity, do keep a portion of it and profit off “B-Strong” merchandise. That doesn’t sit well with Aboud. The Aboud Foundation is 100% non-profit. A cease and desist letter was sent to the Red Sox in May. Since then the sides have been negotiating about it, but it may very well wind up in court.

It’s a really unfortunate situation, as both uses of “B-Strong” are rooted in tragedy and philanthropy. Here’s hoping some sort of amicable resolution can be reached.