When it comes to intellectual property litigation, Under Armour, Inc. continues to live up to its commercial slogan – I WILL.
One year after settling its much-publicized trademark suit against Nike, the sportswear giant is once again taking steps to defend its turf against allegedly infringing parties. This time around, it is suing Skechers USA, Inc., accusing the footwear company of “slavishly copying” Under Armour’s well-known “I Will” series of advertisements in a recently released spot for Skechers’ Unisex Sport line. The Baltimore Sun reports: As suggested above, this is far from the first time Under Armour has flexed its litigatory muscle. In addition to its battle with Nike, the Baltimore-based company has recently faced off against Adidas in an argument involving infringement of fitness tracking software patents. And in the past few months, Under Armour has also filed suits against two startups—Ass Armor and Salt Armour Inc.— for unfair competition and trademark violations. These lawsuits illustrate the bitter and unyielding competition within the athletic apparel industry — competition that extends beyond the courts to touch on stock prices, consumer sentiment, and even name-calling. This past February, in fact, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank called Adidas “our dumbest competitor” after the German manufacturer fell from second to third place in nationwide retail sales. While I cannot speak to the intelligence of its rivals, Under Armour seems to have a strong case against Skechers: the ads seem remarkably similar, down to the marching band-inspired soundtrack. Watch the two videos below to see for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHvQPz6wQe4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oN3Qsohr4k What do you think? If you are interested in following this case in-depth, I suggest you read The Daily Record’s write-up (in which I am quoted). If you have any questions about Trademark Infringement or Business Litigation, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301.575.0302.
ABOUT JONATHAN WACHS
Jonathan Wachs provides strategic counseling and operational advice to clients in the areas of intellectual property, commercial transactions and outsourced legal departments. As head of the firm’s Intellectual Property Group, Mr. Wachs works closely with clients to develop, register, analyze, enforce, and transfer intellectual property assets in a customized, cost-efficient, and highly effective manner. Additionally, he conducts intellectual property audits through which clients learn the nature and value of their intellectual property assets and the steps needed to protect such assets from misappropriation or dilution. As a business lawyer, he has successfully negotiated and completed several multimillion dollar business transactions and has served as general counsel to several small and midsize businesses and organizations in various industries and professions. He also manages a blog about intellectual property issues, Friday Factoids. Mr. Wachs co-manages New Paradigm Counsel, a service through which Offit Kurman delivers customized, comprehensive and cost-effective outsourced legal departments. Through New Paradigm Counsel, Jon served as outsourced general counsel for a government contractor, a large printing business, a payment processing company and an identity theft restoration business.
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