Logo similarities - Lakers and Clippers

I am not sure if this is a GQ or not, so if it needs to be moved, mods feel free.

I put it here because it would get more people with sports knowledge to look at it, but it may be a trademark infringement (or some other infringement), and perhaps a lawyer could answer this one better if it were in GQ.

Anyway, i have noticed this for a while and have always wanted to ask this question.

Why have the Lakers permitted the Clippers to use their logo?

If you look at the Lakers logo, you see a distinct font, with a basketball behind it. And I believe this log existed before:

The Clippers logo, it has the same slanted font, and the same basketball behind the words. I know the Basketball isn’t in the exact same location, but I don’t think it is a leap to see that one of these logos is based on the other. And Since the Lakers were in LA before the Clippers, I am guessing the Clippers logo was copied from the Lakers.

Am i just seeing things? Granted, they are different color schemes, but they seem close enough to me to raise questions. And one of my questions would be, how could the Clippers logo be permitted to go forward when the Lakers logo already existed?
If you look at another example, take the Boston Red Sox. They have a distinctive font, and a distinctive, simple logo. The two red socks, next to each other.

If another franchise came into existence, and they called the,selves the “Blue Sox”, and used the same font, drawings, etc. as the Red Sox have, and just changed the colors, how would that be different? How different do things like logos have to be to be considered unique?

There are small differences, of course. The Laker letters have horizontal lines in the letters, and the Clippers just have horizontal lines in front of everything.

The Basketball tilts to the left in one and to the right in the other.

But I consider these minor compared to the overall look and feel. The Clippers and Lakers logos look almost exactly the same to me, except for color scheme and the team names. Is that enough?


If you want to talk about similar logos, take a look at these two.
Washington Nationals
Here they are together

Thanks for this.

I never saw this one, and I don’t know which came first, but I do know the Nats copied that W from the team that preceded it in Washington. I’m pretty sure at one point the senators wore that style of a W.

And I can also see how this would be permitted if whoever came up with the logo first gave permission to the other. I don’t see Walgreens and the Nationals being in competition for anything, so maybe if it is Walgreen’s “w”, they like that it makes people think of “Walgreens” each time someone sees that logo. I know I will now every time I see it, thanks for that!

The Steelers have a similar thing, although their logo is a direct copy of the Steel logo. The Rooney’s asked the steel industry if they could use their logo for their team, and the steel industry said yes. I don’t know if there is money involved, but the Steel logo has been imbedded in peoples minds thanks to the success of the Steelers.

Steel logo

Steelers logo

I don’t really watch sports at all, but the first time I saw that, I just assumed whatever team that was, was being sponsored by Walgreens. I don’t even think I realized it was an actual ‘real’ game when I first saw it.

The Suburulogo always reminds me of the Steelers logo.

Found this to make it easier to see

Lakers & Clippers side by side

So you are saying the arrangement has proven it’s mettle?

There are some smallish differences, but I assume the resemblance to the Lakers logo is intentional. The Clippers moved to L.A. in the 70s and they may have felt they would benefit by associating themselves with the Lakers, who had enjoyed way more success and found a stable market.

One time there was a basketball game on ESPN between Portland State and Montana State, both in NCAA’s Big Sky Conference. I never realized a Viking could look so similar to a bobcat.