October 12, 2017

Nike Plays Defense Against Gronkowski

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC

In April 2016, Gronk Nation LLC filed two applications for registration of himself in silhouette form spiking a football. Gronk's "trademark move" is the Gronk spike, so it is no wonder that the logo he is seeking to protect looks like this:

Gronk Spike

One of the applications was for use in connection with clothing and the other application for use in connection with exercise equipment. Even though Gronk sports a Nike jersey every Sunday and is one of the brand's endorsers, Nike took issue with the application. Nike filed a Notice of Opposition with the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board, arguing that the Gronk logo is likely to create consumer confusion with the Air Jordan logo, as well as cause dilution of the arguably famous mark. Nike owns multiple registrations for the "Jumpman" logo for use in connection with clothing, basketballs, and sports bags:

Air Jordan
Gronk had until September 27, 2017 to respond to Nike's Notice of Opposition, but failed to do so. The TTAB entered a Notice of Default in this matter on October 6, 2017. It looks like this one may have been settled of the field.