Colorado readers understand that businesses have the right to protect their trademarks. However, a Pacific Northwest couple claims that Under Amour is taking that concept too far.
According to media reports, the couple owns Cascade Armory, which is a clothing retailer based in Bend, Oregon. The pair started selling flannel shirts and other clothing to put themselves through college several years ago and officially launched their brand in late 2017. In early 2018, they filed documents to trademark the Cascade Armory name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Just before the trademark was due to be finalized, Under Armour notified the couple that it was opposing the application. The sportswear company, which recorded over $5 billion in sales in 2018, also sent them a cease-and-desist letter, insisting that the name Cascade Armory constitutes trademark infringement and trademark dilution. However, the couple countered that they built their business from scratch and no one mistakes their products for Under Armour. The couple offered to rebrand, but Under Armour only offered them $200 to offset the estimated $200,000 it would cost to do so. As a result, the couple is fighting the dispute in federal trademark court.
Trademark disputes can be complex and protracted. As a result, it may be helpful for businesses facing such disputes to contact an intellectual property attorney for assistance. An attorney may carefully assess the case and recommend ways a business might be able to protect itself against trademark infringement. If a business has been accused of infringement, legal counsel may be able to help resolve the matter without going to court. If litigation is necessary, the attorney may represent a client’s interests in court and work to obtain a favorable resolution to the dispute.