Shoemaker New Balance has sued the owners of the Nautica apparel brand for design patent and trademark infringement.
In the suit, filed at the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, New Balance said that Nautica’s latest products infringed its trademark for a block ‘N’ logo, as well as the design patent for its 247 shoe.
According to New Balance, its trademarks for the block N logo “embody an enormous amount of goodwill” and are “among the company’s most valuable assets”.
The company said that Nautica’s latest products, including footwear and other clothes such as polo shirts, bear a block N logo that was likely to cause confusion among consumers.
“The breadth of the infringement also evidences an intent to free-ride on New Balance’s famous brand,” the complaint alleged.
“Had New Balance authorised Nautica to design special edition products, it might have been a highly successful collaboration,” the company said.
New Balance also took aim at the Nautica Packer shoe, which it says infringes its design patent for the 247.
“An ordinary observer of Nautica’s shoe upper and New Balance’s patented design, giving such attention that a footwear purchaser usually gives, would find the two designs to be substantially the same,” the suit said.
New Balance has asked the court to order the recall all Nautica products bearing the block N logo. The company also requested an injunction barring any infringement of its trademarks and design patent.
WIPR has contacted Authentic Brands Group, the owners of the Nautica brand, for comment.
Authentic Brands was founded in 2010 and has acquired extensive IP rights, including the image rights to celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali, and Elvis Presley.