There’s an interesting trademark controversy brewing in Los Angeles right now regarding a popular nickname for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  NBC Los Angeles has some good coverage (with video) here.

For years, Hispanic Dodgers fans have referred to the team as “Los Doyers.”  Although there’s no literal translation for the word “dodger” (“gandul,” meaning “layabout” or “vagabond” is one of the closest translations I found), “Los Doyers” is the moniker fans have given the team.

Last month, Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC, filed two trademark applications for the mark LOS DOYERS, and has recently been sending cease and desist letters to retailers selling “Los Doyers” merchandise.

Interestingly,in addition to the various uses of the phrase “Los Doyers” prior to the Dodgers’ trademark application, there actually appears to have been a trademark application filed in June 2009, by a California partnership of two individuals.  This application was abandoned after failure to respond.

Here’s an excerpt from an Office Action from September 2009, which refused registration on the bases of a likelihood of confusion and false association with various marks owned by the Los Angeles Dodgers:

“In the case at hand, the applicant has applied to register the proposed mark, LOS DOYERS, for use with bandanas, beanies, caps, hats, jackets and T-shirts.

The Urban Dictionary, (2009), explains that “Los Doyers” is a “common nickname for the Los Angeles Dodgers.”

It seems like the trademark matters are an easy win for the Dodgers (the notion of “easy win” may be more familar to a Dodgers fan than, say, a Pirates fan), and it’s sure to boost revenue, but the question remains: is this a good PR move on the part of the organization?  How will fans respond?