Under Armour, Inc., a Maryland athletic apparel corporation, has recently filed suit under the Lanham Act for Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition against the Oregon based corporate giant, Nike, Inc. The suit arises out of Nike’s alleged wrongful use of Under Armour’s famous phrase “I WILL”.
As early as 1998, Under Armour has been using the “I WILL” phrase as an answer to its iconic slogan “PROTECT THIS HOUSE”. In the compliant, Under Armour provides illustrative photos and screen images of the “I WILL” mark used on products, packaging, labels, billboards, internet advertisements, and television commercials. During 2013 the phrase has been used in a global marketing campaign by Under Armour, and the corporation has held valid trademarks for the phrase since 2000 and filed 7 more applications in May 2012, expanding to multiple classes of registration.
Nike allegedly began using the same “I WILL” in bold block letters in late 2012, even repackaging it in connection with another saying: “PROTECT MY HOME COURT”, which Under Armour claims is synonymous with its original slogan. Nike has disseminated multiple ads and images across various streams of media, including Facebook where users can share the images across the web, and, according to Under Armour, further dilute the use of the mark. Under Armour is seeking damages, a permanent injunction, and costs against Nike; as well as a demand to destroy any and all products, packaging, etc. in connection with Nike’s use of “I WILL”. For more information see UNDER ARMOUR, INC. v. NIKE, INC.
By CURB Contributor Nicholas R. Swindle, Florida Coastal JD graduate May 2013, and intern at Tax Defense Network.