Under Armour Isn't the Only One Being Sued

A little over three weeks ago, I wrote about a new trademark infringement lawsuit filed against Baltimore-based athletic apparel specialist Under Armour (NYSE: UA  ) .

The plaintiff, a privately held footwear company named Gravity Defyer, is claiming Under Armour purposefully named select new styles of shoes to sound similar to its own trademarked G Defy line of products. As a result, the company says consumers are being "misled" into buying Under Armour's footwear when they may have instead been searching for Gravity Defyer's wares.

But the retailers? Really?
Now, Gravity Defyer just announced it has revised its lawsuit to name more than a dozen additional online retailers for their participation in the trademark infringement, including Finish Line (NASDAQ: FINL  ) , Foot Locker (NYSE: FL  ) and its Champs Sports subsidiary, NordstromDick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS  ) , Sport Chalet, Amazon.com  (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) and its Zappos subsidiary, Backcountry.com, Rogan's Shoes, Road Runner Sports Retail, MonkeySports, Holabird Sports, Eastbay, and Dodds Shoe Company.

Now I'm no lawyer, but that massive list of defendants begs the question: Is Gravity Defyer overreaching here? I mean, I can at least grasp Gravity Defyer's beef with Under Armour for having similarly named products. Heck, Under Armour might even know the feeling, considering it sued Nike in February, claiming the larger company's advertising slogans were too close to its "I will" catchphrase.

But in Gravity Defyer's case, should the companies who sell Under Armour's shoes online really be held responsible for that trademark infringement? After all, I can't exactly see Under Armour stepping out to add television networks and websites to its own trademark lawsuit because they ran Nike's advertisements in question.

Of course, it's also safe to say most folks expect they're purchasing high-quality products from a great company when they pick up gear made by Under Armour -- and that's one of many reasons I bought more of its shares for my personal portfolio just last week. Meanwhile, Gravity Defyer isn't exactly a brand many people know by name.

Foolish final thoughts
In the end, then, I can't help but wonder whether Gravity Defyer is now using Under Armour's alleged infraction as a way to garner as much publicity as possible through this suit. As the saying goes, any publicity is good publicity, right?

But who knows? Maybe Gravity Defyer's products really are as revolutionary as they claim, and if that's the case, they should be able to rise to the top by legitimately competing with the big boys. However, if it turns out Gravity Defyer is simply drawing attention to this case for the wrong reasons, the company will be in for a rude awakening when it realizes it takes much more to build a sustainable business over the long run.

What do you think? Does Gravity Defyer have a case? Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Looking for another promising apparel stock?
lululemon athletica has the potential to grow its sales by 10 times if it can penetrate its other markets like it has in Canada, but the competitive landscape is starting to increase. Can Lululemon fight off larger retailers and ultimately deliver huge profits for savvy investors? The Motley Fool answers these questions and more in its most in-depth Lululemon research available. Thousands have already claimed their own premium ticker coverage; gain instant access to your own by clicking here now.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2365884, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 11/20/2014 6:23:02 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement