Under Armour vs. Body Armor

While we haven’t been able to reach out to founder Lance Collins about the trademark infringement lawsuit filed against him and his new brand, Body Armor, by well-established athletic clothing brand Under Armour, the suit itself does offer some awesome insight into brand building itself.

Here are some great bits that really get to the heart of the lock-it-all-down, win-at-all-costs business of intellectual property suits:

1) Under Armour’s chief complaint is that Body Armor is mimicking its famous logo, which features an interlocking U and A by creating its own interlocking braid as the front symbol of its “shield” design.

2)Under Armour has spent a little time in the beverage business itself, creating a bottled water sold in its corporate home state of Maryland “at least as early as 2005.” According to the clothing company, such water lies under the company’s “natural zone of expansion.”

3) Also under that zone of expansion? Pending applications for carbonated drinks, enhanced waters, juices, isotonics and other fortified drinks.

4) Beyond “Armour” and “Armor”, Under Armour appears to believe that any use of the word “Protect” is an infringement — Under Armour’s “Protect This House” tagline has been ripped off by “Protect + Restore” on Body Armor.

5) apparently both companies have our youth in mind: there are Baby Armor and Baby Armour trademarks filed by both Body Armor and Under Armour, one for a line of drinks, the other for a line of clothes.

Real infringement? Necessary defense of trademarks under the “use ‘em or lose ‘em” aspects of the law? Not for us to decide, but you can draw your own conclusions by reading the complaint.