slogans and trade dress infringement 2

As you know, CARDWARE likes to delve into clothing styles for a wide target audience. Recently, it came up with a name for its slogan which CARDWARE has placed on the right front of its jersey sweaters. It also has a boomerang symbol with the words, “Just Use It.” underneath it. The well-known athletic clothing manufacturer Nike® found out about the Cardigans use of a slogan they claim is similar to their own and now want to bring a lawsuit against CARDWARE Inc. Discuss whether or not Nike has a case. Be sure to discuss the principals associated with trademark infringement and give your opinion whether or not you think the two slogans are confusingly similar or not.

Just response each posted # 1 to 3 down below only.

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Posted 1

Nike has filed a lawsuit against Cardware Inc. because of its use of the worlds “Just Use it” with a boomerang symbol near it. Nike claims that the words and symbol are too similar to Nikes branding. Nike does have a valid case because Nike is able to clearly prove the similarity and how the two slogans and symbols could be confused. According to our textbook, to succeed in a trademark infringement action, the owner must show that the defendant’s use of the mark created a likelihood of confusion about the origin of the defendant’s goods or services (Miller, pg. 90). Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter that Cardware Inc. did not intentionally try to copy Nike’s branding. Nike has registered its logo and slogan with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which means the trademark belongs exclusively to the registrant, Nike. Personally, I do think that the two slogans are very similar. From a distance the two slogans could easily be confused and when I say the slogan “Just Use It” I immediately think of the brand Nike. Cardware Inc. should have known better because Nike is a very well-known brand and “Just Do It” is a slogan that is very well known to Nike.

Miller, R. L. (2016). Fundamentals of business law today: Summarized cases(9th ed.). Australia: Cengage Learning.

Posted 2

Hi Class,

Being a small business with a limited marketing budget is no excuse for not having a memorable slogan. Along with the logo and the name of the company, the slogan is critical to building the corporate identity of your company. Cardware Slogan’s is similar to Nike’s but the symbols would be different, but most people once they hear that slogan they automatically think of Nike so for Cardware to choose “Just Use It” is copying Nike. Just because a company has trademark rights, those rights do not absolutely prohibit anyone else from using the same name, logo, or tagline. A business owner can prevent others from using her trademark only if the other use is confusing.Typically, a slogan cannot be protected under copyright law as copyright does not protect short phrases.A short phrase can be protected in conjunction with an illustration or it may be protected in some cases, if it is taken from a larger well-known work, in this case taking a line from Nike’s slogan. So overall Nike will have a case against Cardware.

Posted 3

Hi Class and Professor,

Trade dress refers to the aspects of the image associated with a product or the packaging of that product that is specifically set to give consumers recognition of brand. In turn, trade dress infringement occurs when companies use similarly styled images to other organizations that may cause a confusion to consumers regarding where the product comes from. Infringement can occur both with slogans and trademarks. In order to successfully trademark a slogan or trademark, it must be creative and distinctive and not all trademarks and slogans can be trademarked. Slogans utilizing common phrases that have other meanings cannot be trademarked. It is understandable that Nike would have been concerned with Cardware’s use of the boomerang with ‘just use it’ as their slogan, being that it is so similar to Nike’s signature slogan and symbol. With such similarity between the ‘swoosh’ symbol and the boomerang, it could be argued that visually the consumer may confuse the two symbols’ origin, and the slogan is extremely similar to Nike’s. (Upcounsel, 2019) As I was looking into this topic I noticed a lawsuit that occurred in 1992 with Nike and an individual marketing his sports gear with the same typeset as Nike, only stating “Mike” as his logo. Nike filed a lawsuit against this company alleging that the slogan was too similar and claimed infringement. Nike was found to be correct and the defendant was ordered to pay the appropriate attorney fees and remove all ‘Mike’ slogan from his merchandise. (Justia, 2019)

Foley

References

Justia US Law. (2019) Nike, Inc. V. Just Did It Enterprises, 799 F. Supp. 894 (N.D. Ill. 1992. Retrieved from https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp/799/894/1379260/

Upcounsel.com (2019) Trademark or Slogan: Everything You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://www.upcounsel.com/trademark-a-slogan