The Maryland Stadium Authority filed a federal lawsuit today to block an Arnold man from selling Camden Yards T-shirts, claiming that the authority has "prior rights" to the name.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, accuses defendant Roy G. Becker, of the 400 block of Beach Road, of trademark infringement and unfair competition.
Lawyers for the authority asked Judge J. Frederick Motz, who was assigned the case, for preliminary and permanent injunctions against Becker.
They requested that the case to be put on a fast track in the courthouse so it could be resolved quickly.
The lawyers, Jerrold A. Thrope and Jefrey A. Weingrow, also asked the court to order Becker to turn over all profits from his T-shirt sales to the MSA, asked for an award of treble damages to the authority and asked the court to order Becker to appear at a deposition hearing with his business records within 10 days.
Weingrow said the authority has tried several times to contact Becker by mail and telephone, but "he has chosen to ignore us."
"He has not responded," Weingrow said.
Gary R. Maslan, an Essex lawyer who reresents Becker, declined to comment on the suit.
Maslan also refused to comment on the status of Becker's applications for a federal trademark in the Camden Yards name and his applications for eight state trademarks in such names as Oriole Memorial Stadium II, Oriole Park and Babe Ruth Stadium.
Becker applied for the federal trademark July 1 and has been selling the T-shirts ever since.
He also applied for the state trademarks through the Department of Assessments and Taxation about the same time in an apparent effort to beat the MSA to the punch in using the name.
If he acquires the trademarks, and if the new Orioles baseball stadium is named any of the names for which he could hold trademarks, the stadium authority would have to pay him royalties for any merchandise that is sold bearing those names.
Weingrow emphasized that the new baseball stadium has not yet been named and that the filing of the lawsuit does not mean that Camden Yards will be the name of it.
But the lawsuit said the MSA has been using the Camden Yards trademark to promote "goods and services" at the downtown sports complex since October 1989.
"We were forced to file the suit," Weingrow said.
"It's unfortunate, but he [Becker] has forced us to take formal legal action."