SBD/May 7, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Canadian Company Grit Sues Reebok Subsidiary Sport Maska Over Hockey Bag

Reebok's hockey bag is not yet in stores but appears in a new catalogue
Ontario-based hockey supplier Grit Inc. has sued Reebok alleging subsidiary Sport Maska Inc. has "started marketing a new hockey bag that is similar to Grit’s well-known Hockey Tower,” according to Janet McFarland of the GLOBE & MAIL. Quebec-based Sport Maska “denies all the claims and says its Reebok 20K hockey bag does not infringe on Grit’s designs or patents.” The company has counter-sued Grit, alleging it has "'made false or misleading statements tending to discredit' Sport Maska to distributors and potential customers." Grit Owner & CEO Greg Collins said that the Reebok bag “isn’t in stores yet, but is in a new order catalogue being shown to retailers and suppliers.” The Hockey Tower bag “hit the market” in ’06, and Grit has “seen sales of its distinctive wedge-shaped bags climb to” C$5M annually. The bags “stand upright and have shelves and spaces for each piece of a player’s gear, including skates and pads, and also have a place on the outside to fasten hockey sticks.” The company also “sells bags for goalies, game officials, figure skaters and soccer players.” The lawsuit is the “second of its kind for Grit, which filed a claim in 2010 against Travelway Group International Inc. and Hockey Canada over an upright bag sold in Wal-Mart stores.” Collins said that the case was “settled out of court” (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/7).
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