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Under Armour seeks summary judgment in ‘I Can’ trademark dispute

Anamika Roy//Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer//November 27, 2018

Under Armour seeks summary judgment in ‘I Can’ trademark dispute

By Anamika Roy

//Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer

//November 27, 2018

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry poses for photos during NBA basketball team media day Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry poses for photos during the NBA basketball team’s media day last year. Under Armour’s “I Can Do All Things” campaign with Curry is at the heart of its trademark dispute with a North Carolina company. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

After successfully arguing that its trademark lawsuit against a North Carolina-based apparel company should not be dismissed, Under Armour is asking a federal judge to grant it summary judgment in the case.

In its latest responsive motion filed on Monday, the Baltimore-based company reiterated its argument that defendant Battle Fashions Inc. has no right to the phrase “I can” and, furthermore, that the phrase does not confuse consumers, calling that claim “blatantly manufactured, biased, and unreliable.

The feud between Battle and Under Armour stems from the apparel and footwear giant’s “I Can Do All Things” and “I Can. I Will.” ad campaigns. Battle Fashions has claimed it has had a valid trademark for “ICAN” for 20 years.

Under Armour uses the slogan “I Can Do All Things” as part of its product line with NBA star Stephen Curry, one of the brand’s most high-profile endorsers. The slogan is derived from Curry’s favorite Bible verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” the lawsuit states, which Under Armour filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore last year.

Under Armour filed its motion for summary judgment in October.

Earlier this month, Battle argued that this case should go to a jury, saying Under Armour “willfully adopted” the phrase “I Can Do All Things” for its Stephen Curry products knowing that Battle had a registered trademark in “ICAN.” Battle goes on to argue in the filing that Under Armour “has gone out of its way” to specifically highlight the “I Can” portion of the slogan. Battle also asserts that Under Armour targets similar consumers through similar channels and grassroots marketing efforts, the filing states.

Battle has used the ICAN logo on its clothing, footwear and accessories, including backpacks. The logo represents “positivity and the possibility of achievement,” Battle says in court filings.

The company describes its marketing efforts as a combination of “scrappy” grassroots channels, such as sponsoring amateur athletes and teams, and more traditional methods, such as social media advertising and working with professional athletes, court filings state.

A federal judge denied the Battle Fashions Inc.’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit in March after the clothing company and its owner, Kelsey Battle asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction in February. In court filings, Under Armour argued Battle had interfered with its business in Maryland by sending cease-and-desist letters to Curry, his agent and the Baltimore company’s advertising agency.

“Accordingly, Battle’s actions went further than merely informing Under Armour of its assertion of its rights but rather allegedly took steps to interfere with Under Armour’s business in Maryland,” Judge Richard D. Bennett wrote in March, ruling that a Maryland court has jurisdiction over Battle.

The case is Under Armour, Inc. v. Battle Fashions, Inc. et al., Case No. 1:17-cv-03223-RDB.


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