Under Armour recently filed suit in Maryland federal court alleging both likelihood of confusion and dilution of these marks: interlocking UA image, “Protect this House,” and “Under Armour” itself. The suit is against owners of the following marks: a shield with an interlocking image, “Protect + Restore,” and “BODY ARMOR.”
The owners of the “BODY ARMOR” and affiliated marks sell sports drinks. Under Armour, a sports apparel company, has claimed that even if its likelihood of confusion claims fail, the mark may dilute the Under Armour brands and tag line. While no answer has yet been filed, judging by this article published by a leading beverage industry periodical, Under Armour may face a battle against the owners of “BODY ARMOR” and its affiliated marks.
If contested and brought to a decision, this could be an interesting foray into the “likelihood of dilution” standard for sports-related marks, a standard still being developed after Congress’ 2006 reversal of the earlier “actual dilution” standard articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Moseley v. Victoria Secret Catalogue, Inc., 537 US 418 (2003). Given the fame of many sports marks, this case could have an interesting impact on teams and other sports-related entities’ enforcement of their trademarks.
More updates on “Culture & Commerce” in the sports world will be forthcoming as new developments arise.