brand vs. brand
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 28, 2012 01:03 PM
The executives who run Nike like to think of themselves at people who don’t do anything halfway. They go all out, "just do it" and climb the highest obstacles. They are ready for anything.
Well, that may all be great for selling shoes, but one thing is true: the company is going to be arguing a case in front of the highest rung of the U.S. judicial system. That's right, Nike is headed to the Supreme Court, but not by choice. As Thomson Reuters' legal blog summarizes the stand-off, "Supreme Court forces Nike to defend its right not to defend its trademarks."
The case – Already LLC v. Nike – started three years ago about sneaker trademarks and is now “a debate over arcane legal jurisdictional issues,” Portland Business Journal reports. The original claim involved Already’s Yums brand of sneakers, which included two particular shoe designs – Soulja Boy and Sugar — that Nike thought looked a whole lot like its Air Force 1s.
After some legal dithering, Nike decided not to sue and claimed that Already’s previous activities “no longer infringe or dilute the Nike mark at a level sufficient to warrant the substantial time and expense of continued litigation,” the Business Journal reports. But Yums wanted Nike’s trademark canceled so it decided to move ahead legally. Then Nike “filed a petition to dismiss Yums’ claim, arguing that the District Court didn’t have jurisdiction to act without an existing conflict over the trademark,” according to the Journal.
That led to the District Court siding with Nike and then the Second District Court doing the same on an appeal. That wasn’t enough for Already, which is now set to argue the case in front of the biggest court in the land. At long last, as far as Nike is concerned, a judge will be able to say “Enough Already” and put an end to the whole thing.