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Why the Cleveland Guardians have a big beef with a small Virginia business

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Posted at 9:57 AM, Dec 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-29 09:57:25-05

This story was originally published by WTVR in Richmond, Virginia.

RICHMOND, Va. — The owner of a small Richmond business is facing major league legal pushback from the Cleveland Guardians baseball team.

Noah Oddo, the CEO of Charged Up Entertainment in Richmond, said lawyers for the Cleveland Guardians reached out to him to petition alleged infringement of their team's new logo.

Oddo said her heard from the Guardians after he filed to trademark the Charged Up logo.

“They are trying to get me to reach a settlement to basically give our logo up or give up our legal rights to protect our brand,” said Oddo.

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Oddo said he found the claim ridiculous because his company has been around for 20 years and has used its logo since 2015.

He said he believes the Cleveland Guardians logo was a simple varsity “C” which was something he said nobody had the right to own.

The Charged Up logo is a C with different lines and lighting bolt, according to Oddo.

He said the Guardians lawyers argue there was confusion in the marketplace and that people confused the two brands.

“It’s clearly distinguishable," Oddo said. "Never once in our history have we had anyone come in the store or reach out to us online making a purchase based on thinking it’s the Cleveland Guardians."

New merchandise is displayed at the opening of the Cleveland Guardians team shop on Friday, November 19, 2021, in Cleveland. The opening of the team shop officially launched the name change of Cleveland's baseball team from Indians to Guardians. (AP Photo/Ken Blaze)

Oddo said he's spent thousands of dollars in legal fees for this issue. He said his company is a small business helping to spark life in Richmond's Arts District by giving young people and interns, a place to come together for music, art, and clothing design.

“It’s a lot of time and resources that could go to other things that are being spent to fight something we believe is baseless,” he said.

The CBS 6 Problem Solvers reached out to the Cleveland Guardians for comment, but the team has not yet responded to that request.

Oddo said he was waiting on a potential resolution but he said the fight to not give up the Charged Up logo would continue. The case is scheduled to go before a judge in 2024.