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Volume 24 No. 113

Marketing and Sponsorship

Under Armour is suing Nike, alleging that it is "illegally using a version of the Baltimore sports apparel company's new primary slogan, 'I Will,'" according to Korman & Wells of the Baltimore SUN. The suit, filed Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, seeks to "force Nike to stop using any form of that phrase and asks for unspecified punitive damages for trademark infringement and unfair competition." The complaint shows that "several instances of ads Nike placed on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter beginning late last year using slogans that all begin with 'I will.'" UA lawyers also accuse Nike of "trying to cause consumer confusion by using language that approximates the iconic 'Protect this house' campaign that helped propel" UA into the mainstream. For example, a basketball ad reads, "I will protect my home court." UA said that its "rights to 'I Will' date back to 1998 and that it has used the slogan in connection with hundreds of products, in TV commercials and on billboards." The first "I Will" trademark "dates to 2000, and Under Armour filed for multiple trademarks on the phrase last May" (Baltimore SUN, 2/22).