Under Armour Files Trademark Suit Against Ass Armor

from the turn-the-other-cheek dept

Show of hands: who remembers the North Face vs. South Butt saga? Ah, yes, the trademark battle built perfectly for those of us with a sophomoric sense of humor, fully entertained us three years ago, when an upstart clothier attempted to be funny and the humorless lawyers at North Face cried consumer confusion. While the claim of confusion was as laughable as the rest of the story, the court proceedings saw South Butt agree to change its brand name. Which it did...to Butt Face, because why the hell not? South Butt/Butt Face, after all, was pimping its own publicity by streisanding its way through court proceedings, all thanks to North Face refusing to put down the litigation stick.

Perhaps snowboarder Casey Sherr was taking notes at the time for his eventual release in 2013 of his Ass Armor clothing company, which of course has Under Armour's shorts in a twist.

The Ft. Lauderdale company faces a trademark infringement lawsuit from Under Armour — and plans to fight. The $3 billion Baltimore athletic apparel maker also accused the snowboard shorts maker of unfair competition and cybersquatting for using the name Ass Armor and a tagline that could be confused with Under Armour's. The defendant copies Under Armour by using similar lettering and putting the Ass Armor name along the shorts' waistband, the lawsuit says.

"Making matters worse, similar to Under Armour's well-known and widely promoted Protect This House tagline mark, defendants use, advertise and promote their Ass Armor mark, name and products… in connection with the Protect Your Assets tagline," says the lawsuit, filed last month in U.S. District Court in Maryland.
Could the well-known Under Armour brand and imagery be somehow confused with Ass Armor and its logo?


Frankly, it stretches credulity to believe that such confusion is likely. More likely this is simply the latest in a long line of battles Under Armour's legal team has staged for itself, having previously gone after Skechers, Salt Armour Inc., and others. Much like the South Butt case, it's woefully likely that all the courts will see is the obvious play on some of the more generic aspects of Under Armour's marks rather than actually weighing any real concerns over customer confusion.

What's clear is that trademark wasn't designed to keep this kind of stuff tied up in court battles like this. Unlike South Butt, Ass Armor appears to be willing to fight the battle.

"We strongly believe the lawsuit filed by Under Armour has no merit," said Scherr, president of the company that makes only the padded shorts, in an email Thursday. "Ass Armor has spent months fighting with Under Armour in front of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and then, without notice, Under Armour filed this matter in federal court. We believe this is a classic David and Goliath battle. As David, we intend to fight."
Protecting its assets is part of the Ass Armor way, after all.

Filed Under: trademark
Companies: ass armor, under armour


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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 3:57pm

    Lawyers, making the world a better place...
    *falls over laughing*

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Miles Barnett (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 4:28pm

    That Logo is Priceless

    I was expecting some crass, adulterated version of the Under Armor logo. That thing is LOL funny. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I'm not confused.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 5:01pm

    How can anyone think your own customers are so stupid?

    I work in retail and can't even comprehend how little respect you would need to have to ASSUME customers can't tell the difference in brands IF they want a certain brand for something.

    IF they don't want a certain brand, branding won't matter at purchase time unless it either sucks or is totally awesome. And this only affects future purchases.

    I mean... Seriously...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2015 @ 5:05pm

    Really?

    How is that supposed to be the same? The names don't even sound the same. And even if they both produce underwear we still live in a non monopolistic world which means that more than one company is allowed to produce underwear.
    FFS their logo isn't even close to be the same. The only thing I can imagine which the judge can do is laugh during the whole thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 27 Feb 2015 @ 11:23pm

    Carnegie Steel and US Steel went through this a lot too, didn't they? *rolls eyes*

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DOlz (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 5:43am

    Considering the abuse of copyright and trademark by these humorless loons, its a good thing Noah Webster has been dead for over 70 years or his estate would have a field day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Atkray (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 10:28am

    The way Under Armor quickly went from a unknown little company to a massive sports brand with their name plastered all over everything has always made me have reservations about the company.....


    Now I have confirmation that I should NEVER purchase anything with their name or logo on it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    z! (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 5:46pm

    Thinking back to Jordache Enterprises, Inc. v. Hogg Wyld, Ltd., 828 F.2d 1482 (10th Cir. 1987):

    http://blog.legalsolutions.thomsonreuters.com/legal-research/headnote-of-the-day/hnod_11-11-13 /
    “Jordache” trademark for blue jeans was not infringed by manufacturer that identified its blue jeans for larger women with smiling pig and word “Lardashe” on seat of pants; striking dissimilarities in designs used in marks greatly outweighed any similarities, manufacturer intended to parody but that intent was not to confuse the public, and survey given by trademark owner did not demonstrate actual confusion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    dparadis (profile), 28 Feb 2015 @ 7:20pm

    Name of the Action

    Ass v. Ass anyone?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    hopponit (profile), 2 Mar 2015 @ 10:22am

    ass armor

    In the army we had a phrase we used a lot. CYA. It made it into common usage, it means Cover Your A--. Thanks to Under Armours lawyers I think I'll do that with this lovely new product just to give them the finger.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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