Long Islander Steve Lore has attempted to trademark the phrase “The House That Juice Built” and has been selling t-shirts and other merchandise with that phrase online. The trademark application actually came up in April, but a brief note in the New York Post brought in further attention this week. According to the Post, the shirt in question features the red, white and blue top hat with stars that has long been associated with the team on top of a syringe, but a search of the Internet isn’t able to come up with that particular logo.
The logo that you can find has the contested phrase, with house and juice in blue, in large block letters. It also has Bronx, New York written underneath the dig, just so there’s no confusion about which house we’re talking about. While the Yankees’ concern for the brand is understandable, it’s hard to see where they have much of a case.
Their argument, that swapping Juice for Ruth could cause confusion, doesn’t hold much water. Lore’s t-shirt is a pretty clear case of parody, whether or not it is trademarked as such, and if he isn’t using any official Yankee logo there doesn’t seem to be much chance that people would think that this is an official Yankee product.
The Yankees, after all, didn’t come up with the phrase “The House That Ruth Built.” It was coined by a sportswriter after the first game at the old stadium, which, of course, no longer exists as anything but a memory. They also don’t seem to have a problem with people calling the new stadium “The House That Jeter Built” or other such turns of phrase unless our courts are backlogged with cases on that front.