Navy says a new Nike logo is trademark infringement:
The similarities of the Nike/UNDEFEATED logo released this week and the USNA Crest are undeniable and we believe their logo is clearly an infringement under trademark law. USNA is working with Navy leadership to order Nike/UNDEFEATED to cease and desist their use of the logo.— U.S. Naval Academy (@NavalAcademy) June 14, 2018
Task & Purpose put the two logos side-by-side. Judge for yourself:
I am not a trademark lawyer, but I do have eyeballs, and those sure look alike! Many of the features in the two logos are close to identical — the pillars on the sides, the ribbon-like strips where all the text is written and facing the same directions, the flames coming out of the top of the pillars, the three stick-looking things at the bottom of both, the stretched out, home-plate like shape of the centerpiece, and the hand gripping the top part of the crest.
Here’s some stuff from the federal government on how trademark cases work:
To support a trademark infringement claim in court, a plaintiff must prove that it owns a valid mark, that it has priority (its rights in the mark(s) are “senior” to the defendant’s), and that the defendant’s mark is likely to cause confusion in the minds of consumers about the source or sponsorship of the goods or services offered under the parties’ marks. When a plaintiff owns a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register, there is a legal presumption of the validity and ownership of the mark as well as of the exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods or services listed in the registration. These presumptions may be rebutted in the court proceedings.
Generally, the court will consider evidence addressing various factors to determine whether there is a likelihood of confusion among consumers. The key factors considered in most cases are the degree of similarity between the marks at issue and whether the parties’ goods and/or services are sufficiently related that consumers are likely to assume (mistakenly) that they come from a common source. Other factors that courts typically consider include how and where the parties’ goods or services are advertised, marketed, and sold; the purchasing conditions; the range of prospective purchasers of the goods or services; whether there is any evidence of actual confusion caused by the allegedly infringing mark; the defendant’s intent in adopting its mark; and the strength of the plaintiff’s mark.
If Navy’s trademark case doesn’t work out, here’s one way to strike back at Nike:
That’ll show ‘em.