Saturday, July 1, 2017

Nike's Logo Infringement Complaint is Bogus

In June, Nike had filed a formal opposition to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trial and Appeal Board, that tight end Rob Gronkowski's new silhouette logo of him spiking the football (left picture) can be confused with the iconic Jumpman logo (right picture).  Gronkowski's own company, Gronk Nation L.L.C., had originally filed his trademark for use on clothing and exercise equipment back in April 2016.  The smaller company will have until August 5 to contest the filing dispute or abandon it entirely.
The two logos look nothing alike.  It's another case where a larger company wants to knock down a smaller company over something as stupid as logo likeness when there clearly is none. 
From 2011-2012, Zenimax, the parent company of Bethesda, who makes  Elder Scrolls RPG game, sued Mojang, makers of Minecraft, for its upcoming card battler game that had the name Scrolls.  Zenimax claimed Scrolls infringed on its trademark of the Elder Scrolls series.  In the end, the two sides reached an agreement where Mojang does not file a trademark for Scrolls and cannot make a sequel with Scrolls in the title; however, it is allowed to publish the card game with the name Scrolls.  This means Mojang can't turn its card game into a franchise.  If it did, the sequel would require a different name.  The two games were nothing alike.  Plus, Zenimax only had rights to Elder Scrolls combined, not Elder nor Scrolls.
In both scenarios, there's a large company who felt like overreaching on trademark enforcement upon a smaller business.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

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