Calling Under Armor’s lawsuit against the company “a prime example of trademark bullying by a corporate giant,” Body Armor says it’s ready to do battle with the sports apparel company. In its first response to the trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Under Armour in April, Body Armor, a multifunction beverage, stated that “it is nearly impossible that consumers or retailers of either brand would confuse the two” and vowed to fight what chairman Mike Repole called a “ridiculous” claim.
In its lawsuit, Under Armour asserts that Body Armor is engaging in “willful violations of Under Armour’s trademark rights,” particularly with regard to Body Armor’s logo and tagline. The sports apparel company claims that the interlocking braid on the front of Body Armor’s labels closely resembles its own interlocking U and A logo, and that Body Armor’s “Prevent + Protect” tagline infringes upon Under Armour’s famous “Protect This House” slogan. Under Armour said that the violations are exceptionally egregious because both companies have a similar target consumer group.
Unsurprisingly, Body Armor disagrees. In its official response to the lawsuit, the company stated that “Under Armour and BODYARMOR operate in disparate industries, produce distinctly unrelated products, and share no branding or logo similarities.”
Repole, who joined Body Armor as an investor and “non-executive chairman” in January, condemned the lawsuit and said that the company had the expertise and financial resources to fight the case. Recall that Repole is the co-founder and former president of Vitaminwater, which was acquired by The Coca-Cola Co., Inc. for $4.1 billion in 2007.
“Under Armour is wasting their time, energy, and financial capital launching a meritless lawsuit against a beverage company, meanwhile taking focus away from their actual apparel competitors,” Repole said. “If I were a shareholder of Under Armour, I would have plenty of questions and concerns.”
Body Armor founder Lance Collins echoed Repole’s comments and noted that the beverage company registered its trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office more than five years ago without receiving any objection from Under Armour.
“The fact that Under Armour is just now bringing this suit… further demonstrates that their claims are entirely meritless,” said Collins.
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