News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for April 27th, 2012

Derby Girls: When Roller Derby and IP Collide

Roller derby is a predominantly female, all-American contact sport that combines fierceness and speed with elements of punk rock and camp.  In Talk Derby to Me: Intellectual Property Norms Governing Roller Derby Pseudonyms [90 Texas Law Review 1093 (April 2012)], author David Fagundes looks at the formal and informal mechanisms used to protect the skaters’ handles. Derby names or pseudonyms are creative and colorful nicknames competitors use in the sport. Fagundes provides some great examples  – Killo Kitty, Venus de Maul’r, Axles of Evil, Madame Ovary, Paris Troika, and Tae Kwon Ho are just a few. Derby names are regulated through informal registration systems and through formal trademark law.  The author applies the example of derby names to wider IP law and legal theory.

Northeast Ohio’s own all-female fast-track derby league is the Burning River Roller Girls, which consists of over 100 players organized into seven teams. Teams complete at Cleveland State University, in the Wolstein Center.  Local derby girls likewise sport rockin’ pseudonyms, like Dita Von Bitch, DomiKnitrix, Moltov Hot-Tail, and Morbid Cherub.

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