The Yankees really are the Evil Empire.
The New York Yankees have successfully opposed an attempt to register “Baseballs Evil Empire” as a mark in connection with “clothing, namely, shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, shorts and hats.” The basis for the opposition is that consumers already associate the phrase “Evil Empire” with the Yankees or, in the words of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, in a non-precedential opinion:
In view of the evidence submitted by opposer, we find that the term EVIL EMPIRE, when used in connection with baseball, refers to opposer, the Yankees. …
In short, the record shows that there is only one EVIL EMPIRE in baseball and it is the New York Yankees.
The TTAB’s sense of humor does not extend to the conclusion that consumers might recognize the EVIL EMPIRE mark as a parodic reference to the Yankees.
Evil Empire, indeed.