CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians have resolved a lawsuit filed by a local roller derby team over rights to the name Guardians, the final hurdle for the Major League Baseball team to continue its changeover.
The sides jointly announced an “amicable resolution” on Tuesday, saying both organizations will continue to use Guardians. No other terms of the agreement were disclosed.
The legal scuffle had delayed the Indians' transition to Guardians, which will soon become official. The American League franchise has been known as the Indians since 1915.
The club next season will be called the Guardians, a name chosen following a year-long process that sprang from a national reckoning over racist names and symbols.
Last month, the Cleveland Guardians roller derby team, which was formed in 2013, filed its lawsuit alleging the switch from Indians to Guardians infringed on its trademark and employed deceptive trade practices, violating a state law.
“A Major League club cannot simply take a smaller team’s name and use it for itself,” the lawsuit said. “There cannot be two ‘Cleveland Guardians’ teams in Cleveland, and, to be blunt, Plaintiff was here first.”
The Indians were hoping to have Guardians merchandise available to fans this month with the holidays approaching.
This month, the baseball team began removing signage in and around Progressive Field.