CHICAGO (CN) – Two rooftop businesses on Sheffield Avenue whose vantages offer great views of Wrigley Field expect to make $6.7 million from tickets to watch Cubs games this year, and falsely claim to be “Officially Endorsed by the Chicago Cubs,” the Cubs say in Federal Court.
The Cubs say Thomas Gramatis, who owns both buildings, violated court orders from previous disputes with the Cubs, failed to pay the team as promised, and abused the Cubs trademarks.
The rooftop spectators are visible over the outfield wall during Cubs games. Gramatis runs the rooftop business at 3617 N. Sheffield Ave. as the “Wrigley Rooftop Club” and 3619 N. Sheffield as the “Sheffield Baseball Club,” the Cubs say.
“Defendants are currently selling tickets for the 2008 season. Based upon advertised prices at full capacity, Defendants’ revenues would, at full capacity, exceed $6.7 million for the 2008 season alone,” the complaint states. “In marketing these businesses, Defendants make wholesale used of the Cubs’ trademarks without the Cubs’ permission and falsely claim to be ‘Officially Endorsed by the Chicago Cubs.’ The Cubs have demanded that Defendants cease and desist from using the Cubs’ marks and from otherwise misleading Cubs fans and other consumers. Although Defendants said they would comply with the Cubs’ demand, Defendants have continued to illegally use the Cubs’ marks and to misrepresent these rooftops as officially endorsed by the Cubs.”
The Cubs claim Gramatis, in a 2004 case involving a different rooftop, violated a mediation agreement and the Cubs had to get a court order to force him to honor his settlement agreement. They say he violated that order again, but failing to pay the Cubs for three rooftop businesses he operated in 2007, “illicitly keeping the Cubs’ money for his own use.”
The Cubs demand treble damages and an injunction.