Armor, Glory and ... religion in a US trade mark clash

This GreeKat learns from the Washington Post that US-based sports apparel company, Under Armour, has initiated trade mark infringement proceedings against Armor&Glory, a small company producing, in its own words, "inspirational apparel". At issue is use by Armor&Glory of, no surprise, the mark  "Armor&Glory".  It seems that Under Armour justifies its trade name and is quite vigilant in protecting its trade mark rights; it has entered into IP rows with Nike, adidas (as a defendant though) and Sketchers in the past.

But the factual background in this case is different, not only because of the (tiny) size of the defendant, but also because of the story behind the allegedly infringing mark. According to Armor&Glory's founder, Terrance Jackson, the idea behind the venture came in 2013 following his disappointing attempt to dress his then 3-year-old son with anything not including skulls and crossbones [a rather exaggerated statement this blogger thinks]. As for the name, "the full armor of God" cited in Ephesians 6:11 was Mr. Jackson's source of inspiration. He is quoted to say that “When God gave this [name] to me, I never thought once about those guys. We don’t even spell it like them.”[hmm, that does not sound like a sound trade mark defense].

Regardless of spelling, Armor&Glory's market impact appears minimal. According to the story, "it has so far made less than $100,000 in revenue since 2013 — about 0.003 percent of Under Armour’s sales just last year. The company’s online store sells $20 shorts and $25 shirts designed largely for a core Christian audience, with slogans like “Be spiritually attractive” and 'Put on God’s armor and receive His glory.'".  
This may be why trade mark bullying psychology is put forth by Armor&Glory (and to a certain extent by the Washington Post's piece). The company has even started a crowd-funding campaign on its web page for expected legal costs. 

HANDS OFF (my armour)!! 
Of course, trade mark bullying can be an easy "accusation" to mouth in David vs. Goliath cases. For better or worse, Under Armour owns several registered trade marks incorporating "Armour" and Armor&Glory is not the first "Armor"-related case they have gone after. IP lawyers also know well that vigilance in protecting trade marks and brand integrity usully leaves little room to cherry-pick battles. So is this vigilance or bullying? 

Armor, Glory and ... religion in a US trade mark clash Armor, Glory and ... religion in a US trade mark clash Reviewed by Nikos Prentoulis on Thursday, August 27, 2015 Rating: 5

No comments:

All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here:

Powered by Blogger.