Under Armour Can't Help But Issue A Cease And Desist For Tiny Clothier Cascade Armory

from the ready-fire-aim dept

Athletic clothing maker Under Armour has graced our fair pages a few times in the past, always for being on exactly the wrong side of the trademark equation. Between trying to torpedo tiny Christian companies like Armor & Glory, and ensuring that every member of the public is aware that its own executives don't have a sense of humor that they are aware of by suing Ass Armor, the mega-company has been quite busy making sure the entire world knows that only it is allowed to use the word "Armour." Notably important in all of this is that the company is exactly wrong in this claim, as trademark law nearly always comes down to whether customers will be confused by the use of words and trade dress, and it is not a platform for a single company being able to lock up a fairly common word.

This is a lesson that apparently hasn't stuck for the folks at Under Armour, however, as the company has recently fired off a C&D letter to another tiny clothier, Cascade Armory.

According to Source Weekly, a start-up clothing store in Bend, Oregon named Cascade Armory has received a cease and desist order from the gigantic corporation claiming that the tiny store's brand could cause confusion to the billions of dads and bro-dudes who wear Under Armour's ass-ugly athletic gear.

As you can see from the [below] picture, the logos of both companies share almost no similarities—other than the word "armor" which UA seems to have trouble spelling.

Here are the logos in question.

The first thing that should immediately jump out at you is just how insane any claim that there is the potential for customer confusion here would be. Cascade Armory isn't even using the word "armor", never mind the British spelling that Under Armour uses. On top of that, all of the dress and iconography is significantly different. Add to all of this that Cascade Armory isn't an athletic clothing maker, but a traditional one, and that should be the final nail in all of this. Under Armour can play make-believe pretending it lives in a world where it can tell everyone else on the planet that they cannot use any words that are even close to "armour" if it wants, but it simply isn't true.

And, yet, the company makes demands far outside its legal rights.

In the cease and desist order, Under Armour demanded that Cascade Armory abandon with prejudice its application for trademark and any other applications and registrations for marks comprised of or containing the term armory, armoury, armor, armour or any misspellings or variations thereof. The company demanded Cascade Armory permanently quit using, registering or applying to register the Cascade Armory mark and any versions containing the same versions of 'armory' or 'armor.' Also, they demanded that Cascade Armory deactivate its website and social media pages that contain the same words.

These demands are flatly obscene given the flimsy nature of Under Armour's basis for all of this. Of course, we've said many times that big companies play the trademark bully because it works, largely because it can scare the hell out of startups and small companies that don't have a comparable legal war chest with which to work.

While the owners of Cascade Armory, Alex and Diana Short, have no intention of kowtowing to Under Armour's bullying tactics, they also admit that a legal fight against the conglomerate would put their young business in peril.

Which is why companies like Under Armour get away with this nonsense. Why they feel the need to do so is an open question.

Filed Under: armory, armour, clothing, trademark, trademark bullying
Companies: cascade armory, under armour


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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 12 Dec 2018 @ 8:22pm

    Something something federal level law that lets a target get a judge to rule early on if this is a stupid case & ends it awarding them damages.

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

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 13 Dec 2018 @ 5:16am

      Re:

      Yeah, trademark needs something like an anti-SLAP law desperately. Any form of IP litigation needs a quick review type of law to help minimize the egregious misuse of the courts to shut out competition.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2018 @ 6:45am

        Re: Re:

        How about anti-SLAPP for everything? We see obviously stupid and meritless lawsuits, including some filed by public prosecutors, in all kinds of areas. This one actually seems related to speech, so maybe existing anti-SLAPP law could be used.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2018 @ 6:15am

        Re: Re:

        How about "looser pays". In the U.K., the looser of a case pays the legal expenses of the winner.

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

  • identicon
    Anonmylous, 12 Dec 2018 @ 8:45pm

    Cheap battle

    First thing to do is file a dismissal for failing to state a claim, and for standing. then let the idiots in UA Legal argue with the judge for a while until they get tired of wasting money on repeated appeals. You don't need a ton of money to fight one this damned stupid. You do need a war chest if you want to countersue, but why bother when UA is doing far more to damage their brand (and pockets) with moves like this?

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

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 12 Dec 2018 @ 8:58pm

    Just Wait Till ...

    ... the deodorant companies get to hear about this ...

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

  • identicon
    Great Advertising, 13 Dec 2018 @ 4:53am

    Now I know Cascade Armory

    How crazy. I checked out Cascade Armory. Their product line is not in competition with Under Armour. But now I know what Cascade Armory sells. Great advertising for them. I would probably never have heard about this company.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2018 @ 8:07am

    Should call their new company Monster Armory

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2018 @ 9:50am

    "the company makes demands far outside its legal rights"

    Does this not describe almost all of US law.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Dec 2018 @ 10:28am

    If I want to buy armor to wear under my clothing, who should I buy from? Are there companies pushing anti-trust monopoly driven brand protection ?

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Dec 2018 @ 11:13pm

    Thanks for that

    I for one have to commend under armor for fighting to keep potential customers from being confused. Specifically to keep them from thinking that it might be a good idea to give money to a company staffed by legal thugs, something that might have been unclear without their repeated acts of legal thuggery.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2018 @ 6:23am

    I don't own any Under Armour products but I just saw a couple things I'll probably order from Cascade Armory. I'll see is my wife wants anything before I order. Under Armour, Thanks for pointing them out.

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


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