Under Armour Inc. is suing a North Carolina-based company, claiming it is using similar logos and name derivatives.
The Baltimore sportswear maker filed the suit last week in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, charging that Purple Armour, of Charlotte, N.C., sells apparel with branding that imitates Under Armour’s.
The suit also claims Purple Armour promotes apparel and accessories on its websites, PurpleArmour.net and PurpleArmour.com, with the same marketing strategy. The suit also charges the company with false advertisement, “cybersquatting” and unfair competition. “Cybersquatting” is taking a domain name that is the same or similar to a trademark owner’s mark, and either misspelling the name or taking one of the company’s product lines.
Tiffani Denise Diggs Lewis, of Charlotte, N.C., was listed among the defendants as the registrant of the domain names.
Under Armour’s suit claims that it contacted Diggs Lewis in 2009, objecting to the use and attempt to register the Purple Armour mark, and had engaged in months of settlement discussions. Under Armour and Diggs Lewis allegedly entered into an agreement, but the suit claims Diggs Lewis and Purple Armour breached the agreement.
Officials from Purple Armour could not be reached for comment.
“Under Armour has an increasingly valuable brand,” said Ned T. Himmelrich, head of the intellectual property/technology group at Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander LLC. “You need to clear out as a wide an area around your market as you can, and stop anyone that might be nibbling along the edges.”
Under Armour requested a jury trial for the case and wants Purple Armour to pay $200,000 in statutory damages for the registration and use of the domain names, in addition to no longer using imitations of the logo, marks and names and destroying any inventory with the Purple Armour name and logo. It also seeks an unspecified amount of punitive damages and profits gained from the alleged misuse of the Under Armour logo and name.
Under Armour’s attorneys from Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP could not be reached for comment.