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The Blue Jays are blocking Creighton University’s logo trademark application

Aug 22, 2014, 9:46 AM EDT

The Toronto baseball club is named The Blue Jays. The Creighton University athletic teams are named The Blue Jays. This, combined with an updated Creighton logo, is creating a problem:

The Blue Jays are contesting Creighton University’s use of a new logo, saying the depiction of the school’s “Bluejay” too closely resembles the logo of the major league baseball team. The Blue Jays filed a notice of opposition this month with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, opposing the university’s application for a trademark.

Here’s the Creighton logo, in use since last September:


Here’s the Toronto Blue Jays logo:



More to the point, here’s the old Blue Jays logo which, even if they’re not currently using it, they still hold the trademark for:



That one is way closer to what Creighton is trying to trademark.


And for laughs, here’s a real blue jay:


I think that guy should sue the whole lot of ’em, frankly.

  1. jm91rs - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    I must say that Creighton logo looks pretty slick.

    • jarathen - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      It’s a very cool logo and certainly more unique than all of the high schools running around with co-opted pro logos.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:25 AM

      Of course the University logo is slick. The artist borrowed heavily from the professionally designed Blue Jays logo.

      • jm91rs - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        I think both may have borrowed heavily from an actual blue jay. Tell two artists to draw a bluejay head and make it look kinda mean for your sports team. I’m betting you get two pretty similar blue jays.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:34 AM


      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 22, 2014 at 6:31 PM

        Man, look at all of these teams the St. Louis Cardinals should be suing, @Proudly.

        Again, put the shovel down and stop digging.

  2. philcokesbrain - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    How many ways are there to depict a freekin’ blue jay?

    Maybe Toronto wants them to change the color.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:10 AM


      And so while — I think — Craig was making a joke to show a profile picture of an actual Blue Jay, it seems deeply relevant here.

    • carpi2 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      Lol, @philcokesbrain, Creighton’s problem is their blue jay looks too much like a blue jay. Which, apparently, the Toronto Blue Jays own the exclusive rights too. Maybe Creighton should add some lipstick, or eye shadow to their Blue Jay?

  3. mybrunoblog - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Umm, there are only so many ways to portray a blue jay. I guess the color scheme also matches the Blue Jays look but if blue is the schools primary color there’s not much else they can do.

    • jarathen - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      It’s a ridiculous suit. I’d never correlate the two, or even the third old Jays logo that was terrible.

  4. jarathen - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Creighton should consider Steller’s Jay, which looks totally awesome. It’s like a blue jay but with a ninja mask.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      I just Googled it, yeah that would be way cool.

  5. nobody78 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Well I blame the Chicago Cubs’ grounds crew.

    • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      Ha! Yeah, those clowns.

      • Jack Glasscock's Cup - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        I’m surprised Bozo hasn’t sued the Cubs yet for infringing upon his clown shoes patent.

      • jm91rs - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        Bozo is dead but his grandson is in the reds organization I believe.

      • nbjays - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:32 AM

        I thought he was GM for the Phillies…

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        I thought he was the guy that wrote this story.

  6. Detroit Michael - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Maybe if Toronto cares so much about its logo, it can actually resume having some blue in its road uniforms. How a team called “Blue Jays” can be dressed in just red and white stumps me (and yes I know those are the colors on the Canadian flag).

    • pinerider22 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      That red uniform is not their regular one… is used for “Canada Day”

      • Detroit Michael - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:27 AM

        Ah, that makes sense. Thanks.

  7. unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Too late for the real bird to sue. Toronto already sued him too so the best he can do now is counter-sue.

    It doesn’t help his case that he has all of those jaywalking citations in his past.

  8. pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    I really like the Creighton logo. I’m not sure you can really depict a Blue Jay all that much differently. I’ll admit it does resemble the older Toronto logo a bit but I think Creighton made it even better.

  9. coryrox78 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    “My buns have no seeds. They have the Golden Arches, mine is the Golden Arcs. They got the Big Mac. I got the Big Mick.”

    • jm91rs - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      Thank you for this. I didn’t recognize the buns have no seeds part but the rest helped me remember.

  10. proudlycanadian - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    I was wondering when HBT would notice yesterday’s story. The artist used by the University obviously ripped off the Jays logo. There have been similar lawsuits in the music industry. For example, George Harrison lost one in which it was claimed one of his songs copied another song. The similarity in this case is much closer that of the Harrison case.

    • jm91rs - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      Similarities in the fact that they both look exactly like a blue jay?

    • jarathen - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      I would love to know how you can compare the writing of music with a stylized portrait of a common bird.

    • larrymahnken - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      Not really – they’re only similar in that they have a blue jay on them. The style of the drawing is completely different. They *look* similar because they’re both obviously drawings of the head of a blue jay, but there is almost nothing the same with the two logos that isn’t due to the fact that it’s a drawing of an actual bird.

    • pauleee - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      The Dandy Warhols did a song “Godless” that sounds quite like Harrison’s My Sweet Lord. Parody?

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 22, 2014 at 6:12 PM

      @Proudly, put down the shovel. You don’t see the Cardinals suing other teams with a Cardinal logo now, do you?

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 22, 2014 at 6:36 PM

        How similar is it?

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:15 PM

        University of the Incarnate Word? Closer than Creighton to Toronto:

        And Catholic University:

        And Trinity Valley Community College:

        And Plainfield High School:

        Could MUCH more easily be sued by the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals than the Jays.

        That said, I’m 110 percent sure that NONE of this will convince you you’re wrong.

  11. beefytrout - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    As it stands, there are enough unique elements in the Creighton logo that they should be granted a Trademark. If they changed the feathering on the top of the head to be entirely the light blue, they’d have an even stronger case.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      See my George Harrison comment above.

      • beefytrout - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        I did. You’re wrong.

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:16 PM

        You’re way wrong, and I don’t mind thumbs-downing every comment on this post that you make.

        Actually, per physicist Wolfgang Pauli, “you’re not even wrong.”

      • SocraticGadfly - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:17 PM

        You’re at the point of becoming fücking stupid on this one, Canadian. Fellow Canadians are now laughing at you, too.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:15 PM

        Oh? The design is a complete ripoff and the Jays design is protected under trademark law. Companies quite rightly spend a lot of money protecting their trademarks.

  12. Paul White - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    I understand that the suit is about the logo and not the name, but Creighton’s use of “Blue Jays” far outdates the baseball team’s existence, by about 50 years. And they had many, many different logos in that time, any one of which they could have claimed had been infringed upon by some upstart baseball team in Canada. Because, as has been correctly noted above, there are only so many ways to depict a freakin’ blue jay.

    Creighton’s current logo is superimposed over a big letter “C”. Last time I checked, that letter doesn’t appear in “Toronto”. Or in “Blue Jays”. Or in “baseball”. The angry scowl on the bird’s face does look like Toronto’s logo circa 2004, as noted, but it also matches Creighton’s logo from 1970. And another one from 1957. Both long before baseball was being played in Toronto.

  13. tribefever - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    The USPTO is a dumpster fire. Chief Wahoo is the best mascot of all time.

    • Cris E - Aug 23, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      Yes. No.

  14. nolanwiffle - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Do they also have a beef with Johns Hopkins University’s logo? (I would’ve included a picure to really amp up this comment’s usefulness……but I don’t know how.)

    • Bryz - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      Here you go.

      • larrymahnken - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM

        That’s a pretty terrifying logo.

      • stex52 - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:58 PM

        That’s a good one. That’s how a bluejay looks to all of the smaller birds.

  15. ud1951 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Yes, because Toronto has so many fans in Omaha and Creighton is big Canada.

  16. tigersfandan - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    I think the whole world should sue the Toronto executives for insulting our intelligence.

  17. montrealknowledge - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Play for it, simple as that. Losing team just called The BJs… Toronto sucks at everything so it’ll fit.

  18. cshearing - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Speaking as a Blue Jays fan, let’s all openly laugh at and mock the Blue Jays over this one. Ridiculous.

  19. SocraticGadfly - Aug 22, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    @Proudly; the US Republican Party is suing the Canadian Conservative Party for Stephen Harper stealing the identify of George W. Bush.

  20. chumthumper - Aug 23, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    Hey Craig, for the record: It’s the Toronto BlueJays and the Creighton Bluejays.

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