Under Armour Not Cool with Sunglasses Company.

BALTIMORE, May 26, 2009 -- Sunglasses company Navajo Manufacturing Company was accused by Under Armour of copying its sunglasses and logo in a complaint filed with with U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Maryland.

Under Armour designs, develops, markets, sells, and distributes a wide variety of apparel, footwear, sports equipment, and accessories like sun glasses under its logo since August 5, 1996 by itself, its predecessor in interest, and its licensees.

The Under Armour logo and its numerous variations consist of two overlapping U's, with the upper U upright and the lower U upside down and resembling an A due to the overlapping portions.

Colorado based Navajo Manufacturing Company is accused of selling sunglasses similar in appearance and bearing a logo consisting of two interlocking, overlapping U's, with one upright and the other upside down.

Under Armour has at least 40 registrations on file with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) for variations on its trademarks. Under Armour alleges they used the UA logo in connection with eyewear products at least as early as April 10, 2006.

Navajo Manufacturing Company filed an intent-to-use application to register the interlocking U's with the USPTO on December 23, 2008. An intent to use application is filed when a party wishes to register a trademark that is not currently in use in interstate commerce. A benefit of the intent-to-use application is the applicant receives the filing date of the application as the date of first use.

As a general rule, the first party to use a trademark has the superior claim of ownership and can prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark in connection with similar goods or services.

Navajo's trademark and sunglasses came to the attention of Under Armour after Navajo published its 2009 Eyewear Catalog.

The records of Colorado Secretary of State provide two entries for Navajo Manufacturing Company. One entity was incorporated in 1978 and is considered delinquent while the other was incorporated in 1993 and is deemed expired.

The complaint asks the court to issue an order to the USPTO to refuse registration to Navajo's pending application. Under Armour is also requesting an order to destroy all of Navajo's sunglasses bearing a trademark confusingly similar to the "UA" logo.

Causes of action based on trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition, and false designation of original are contained in Under Armour's pleading.

A successful plaintiff proving trademark infringement can recover the profits of the infringers and any damages sustained by the plaintiff under the Lanham act. In assessing damages the court may enter judgment for any sum above the amount found as actual damages, up to three times. When a court finds a defendant intentionally counterfeited a registered trademark, the court must, unless the court finds extenuating circumstances, enter judgment for three times such profits or damages, whichever is greater, together with a reasonable attorney’s fee unless the Plaintiff elects for statutory damages up to $1,000,000 per counterfeit mark per type of goods or services sold, offered for sale, or distributed.

Under Armour's net revenues exceeded $725,000,000 in 2008.

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