This paper is about the theory of applying the law of trade dress and all the protections that come with it to stadiums, specifically to Wrigley Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs. Trade dress is the version of trademark reserved for the packaging, design, or color of products. If the packaging, design, or color possesses the ability to identify the source or creator of the product, then it can create a possessory interest in the product’s creator for that style of packaging, design of the product, or color used. This possessory interest is used to protect the reputation of the creator as a producer of quality products and protect consumers from confusion when they go to purchase products.
During the last decade or more, sports have become big business and do not show any signs of stopping. One of the signs of this trend is the arms race that has developed for the biggest and best stadiums and facilities. Applying trade dress protection to these stadiums and facilities would protect an owner from the creation of a similar stadium or facility by a rival owner and could open up a new revenue stream by allowing that owner to use the look and design of his stadium to sell and market goods with. The application of this theory could be endless and only fully realized when it hits the free market.
Benjamin J. Welch,
Wrigley Field, the Trademark,
7 Pace. Intell. Prop. Sports & Ent. L.F.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/pipself/vol7/iss1/2