World Footwear

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Nike loses trademark case against Puma

Jul 3, 2024 United States
Nike loses trademark case against Puma
The US-based sportswear company has suffered a setback in its bid to trademark the capitalised version of the word “footware” for tech-related products after a European Union court backed a complaint by Puma
The General Court of the European Union, the bloc’s second-highest court, rejected Nike’s trademark application and ordered it to pay Puma’s legal costs. Nike wanted to use “Footware”, a play on words combining “foot” with “software” or “hardware”, for a range of technology-related products. Nike may now appeal the decision from the General Court to the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice.

A spokeswoman for the German company said it welcomed the decision, as Puma has long argued that at least some consumers would misunderstand the term “footware” as “footwear” and would therefore regard the term “footware” as merely descriptive information, which cannot be a trademark.

The court’s decision follows a series of legal battles with rival sportswear manufacturers after Nike filed trademark applications for the term in the US, UK and Europe in 2019.

In mid-2021, Nike won against Puma after the UK High Court allowed the trademark to be registered despite Puma’s complaint that “footware” could mislead some consumers. 

Earlier this year, however, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board blocked Nike’s attempt to register the trademark in the US, following an appeal by sneaker manufacturer San Antonio Shoemakers, which argued that the term was merely descriptive because the words “footware” and “footwear” were often used interchangeably to refer to shoes.

Source: eulerpool.com


Image Credits: thefashionlaw.com


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