Friday, February 22, 2013

Under Armour suing Nike over advertising slogan

Under Armour is protecting its house. Well, more specifically its branding.

On Thursday, the Maryland-based apparel company filed a lawsuit in federal court against rival Nike, claiming that Nike has infringed on Under Armour trademarks in multiple ways by using the phrase "I Will" in promotional campaigns.

The timing of the suit comes merely ahead of Under Armour's plans to launch a global marketing campaign called "I Will" later this month.

From the USA Today:

According to the suit, which includes images on the Nike Facebook page with slogans such as, "I will protect my home court" and "I will finish what I started."

The suit also says Nike's Facebook page and YouTube video page feature a video that includes image of athletes with such phrases as, "I will sweat while they sleep" and "I will give the scout no other choice."

The suit alleges such usage is "likely to cause confusion, mistake, and deception as to the source or origin" and is "likely to falsely suggest a sponsorship, connection or association" with Under Armour.
"Defendant's use of I WILL infringes Under Armour's long-established trademark rights, dilutes the distinctiveness of Under Armour's famous mark, and constitutes unfair competition," says the suit.

Nike, which is based on the opposite coast in Oregon, has yet to comment on the suit.

"Ten years ago Under Armour became a household name when the brand asked athletes everywhere to 'Protect this House.' The response in the iconic commercial, and throughout the years, has been the same: I WILL," Under Armour founder Kevin Plank said in a Feb. 12 press release.

Under Armour says it is defending its phrase just as Nike protects its infamous "Just Do It" slogan.

The company is seeking a trial by jury, and asks for a permanent motion to stop Nike from using all forms of "I Will" in their marketings efforts. Additionally, it also asks for destruction of all Nike products that bear the phrase and asks Nike to pay Under Armour any and all profits arising from such products.

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