As if the Chicago Cubs don’t already have enough to worry about with improving their last-place team, now they have to worry about legal matters with unauthorized mascots.
Exactly one year ago we passed along a story about the Cubs sending a cease and desist letter to a man who was parading around Wrigleyville as an unauthorized mascot. The man, John Paul Weier, wears a furry costume and Cubs jersey with the name “Billy Cub” on the back. He recruited others to wear the mascot as well, and they show up around Wrigley Field to take pictures with fans, dance with them, and do other things.
But their behavior hasn’t been that of a typical mascot.
The Cubs allege that the men charge for pictures and ask for tips. They also allegedly have made rude, profane and derogatory remarks to fans and season ticket holders. The “Billy Cub” mascot is not affiliated with the team and therefore making the organization look bad, the team says. And that is why they filed a lawsuit Friday.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs filed a lawsuit against Weier and his mascot friends, saying the men are not affiliated with the organization and that they are violating the team’s trademarks by using the character to mislead people. What’s worse is that the men are accused of trying to profit off the fake mascot character.
The Sun-Times says the suit alleges that “Weier owns or operates websites and social media accounts dedicated to promoting the Billy Cub character, and has sold merchandise related to the character.”
The Cubs are suing for damages, legal fees and all the profits the men have made from the character on grounds of trademark infringement, deceptive trade practice and injury to the Cubs’ reputation.
Surely you laugh at the thought that a fake mascot harming the Cubs’ reputation more than the Cubs have already done by not winning a World Series since 1908 … but a video of the Billy Cub punching a guy at a bar went viral a few months ago, and that’s definitely something the Cubs don’t want to be associated with. Then when you combine them mistreating fans or charging for things, that’s enough to tick off an organization. It’s clear the guy behind the “Billy Cub” is being a real jackass. The Cubs are going to win this suit and should.
Next up I hope the Cubs sue this TV network for making their mascot look even worse!
Head over to Page 2 to see many pictures of Billy Cub posing with fans.