Bad News Bear: Chicago Cubs Sue “Billy Cub”

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsThe fur is flying in Chicago after the Chicago Cubs, my home team, filed a lawsuit against John Paul Weier, Patrick Weier and three other unidentified individuals who are all dressing up as “Billy Cub” and taking pictures outside of Wrigley Field. As many know, I am a diehard Cubs fan but I have been critical of Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts in the past for this threats against fans to squeeze more money out of one of the most profitable teams in the country. The picture above was submitted as part of the lawsuit.

The men have been taking pictures for money as the unofficial mascot “Billy Cub.” The Cubs insist that the men are giving the team a bad image, violate trademark rules, and undermine the new official mascot “Clark the Cub.” The lawsuit accuses the men of making “rude, profane and derogatory remarks and gesticulations to patrons, ticket holders, fans or other individuals located in the area of Wrigley Field.” It also says that the fake mascot is a bit of a wild animal at night and has gotten into bar fights. Indeed, there is a YouTube video of Patrick Weier, 36, punching a guy who took off his costume head. He said later that patrons had been harassing him at the John Barleycorn bar near the stadium after the Cubs played the Philadelphia Phillies.

The lawsuit says that John Paul Weier also has operated or controlled websites, domain names and social media pages promoting Billy Cub character and sold merchandise including T-shirts that infringe the team’s trademarks. The obvious confusion with Cubs mascot would seem obvious though trademark critics would ask whether this means that the team now controls any image of a baby bear. Of course, this baby bear is wearing a Cub jersey. The question is whether anyone who tries to create an unofficial mascot can be sued in this fashion. What about a fan becoming “Billy the Bat”? Would there still be a confusion claim?

Source: Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times

12 thoughts on “Bad News Bear: Chicago Cubs Sue “Billy Cub””

  1. Billy Cub is a silly name but baseball shenanigans are silly.

    Let the fans be silly … it is better than violent and demented.

  2. I don’t think this matter is actionable on the part of the Cubs. I don’t see any resemblance between the official mascot and this man’s.

    Besides, in some respects when a team goes “Jar-Jar Binks” and makes an annoying, over the top, cutesy character on the pretense of appealing to children, we need we need a mascot like this man’s to restore balance.

    Can’t we just return to the old days when men were men and the mascots were real?

  3. Forget Billy, can someone please sue that dumb skeez in the bar whos vocabulary is clearly limited to different inflections of “OHHHH MYYY GAWD”.

  4. The mascot is giving the team a bad image? Not winning the world series since 1908, not being in the world series since the 1940s, almost always being at about the bottom of the division, is not giving the team a bad image? The Cubs have played in the second largest market for most of their history, until L.A. passed Chicago in size, and they have stunk for most of that time. They rely upon fans to buy tickets and hardly use that money to get good players.

    They are effectively a joke, sorry Jonathan. I would call them the Clippers of MLB, but the Clippers are good now and they weren’t as bad as long as the Cubs.

  5. Since the Cubs never seem to have a team to be proud of, how can an unofficial mascot denigrate the team?

  6. This is called “free expression” and “the right to petition the government for redress of grievances”. Those are two prongs of the First Amendment which should be asserted in the legal proceedings against the prongs who own the Cubs. Go Cardinals.
    This is also an infringement on the right to arm bears as protected by the Second Amendment.

  7. Richard, I was living in Chicago when Wrigley turned Yuppie. I lived on the 2100 block of West Waveland. The “No Lights” campaign was ongoing. Here’s the irony. The tough, blue collar, Dallas Green turned Wrigley Yuppie. He pushed through lights, hired Harry Caray, and put out a competitive team for the first time in decades. In 1981 when I moved to Chicago I could take a 20 minute walk to Wrigley and get a good ticket to any game. By the end of the decade that was impossible. The Cubs allow ticket brokers to buy up all the tickets. Their new owner is an a-hole. I don’t go back as far as you. Any stories would be appreciated. As I’ve said here, I preferred Comiskey and would take that long trek as many times as I would stroll to Wrigley. I lived just far enough from Wrigley where you wouldn’t have game people parking on your block.

    1. I agree. The left field bleachers in the 70s were heaven. Knowledgeable baseball fans, cheap beer, and no a**holes. Also, no Murphy’s because it was still Ray’s Bleachers. Do you remember Irving the one-toothed frosty malt vendor in the bleachers who lived next to Murphy’s? Ah, for the days of Tarzan Joe Wallis and Champ Summers! Over and out.

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