Under Armour sues Inner Armour

Baltimore-based sportswear titan Under Armour yesterday filed a trademark-infringement complaint in Maryland U.S. District Court against I A Nutrition, a Florida-based company that sells Inner Armour, a brand of nutritional supplements marketed to athletes.

According to the complaint, I A Nutrition uses its Inner Armour brand name "prominently on apparel," including in its advertising, which features "professional athletes (including, most recently, NFL draft picks) in clothing emblazoned with the infringing Inner Armour mark (and even paired with Under Armour clothing)"—an image of which was included the lawsuit, and is pictured here. I A Nutrition "has also started mimicking elements of Under Armour commercials in its online videos," the complaint alleges. As a result, Under Armour claims, "consumers are likely to believe" that Inner Armour products "are made, approved, or licensed by Under Armour"—an argument, the complaint says, bolstered by "two separate unsolicited proposals" in which "consumers wrote to Under Armour suggesting that it offer beverages and supplements under the name Inner Armour."

I A Nutrition's Inner Armour brand is trademarked, so Under Armour is seeking a court order to cancel the trademark and a permanent injunction to stop I A Nutrition from ever again using the Inner Armour name. In addition, the lawsuit asks the court to order I A Nutrition to destroy all of its inventory bearing the Inner Armour mark, and to give Under Armour any profits it realized from its use. It also wants I A Nutrition to pay Under Armour's litigation costs and attorneys' fees, along with triple an as-yet undetermined amount of damages caused by the infringement.

I A Nutrition is no stranger to patent-and-trademark controversy, having recently been sued by Sundesa, LLC, the Utah-based maker of the Blender Bottle, over its Inner Armour Shaker Cup. Both products, according to Sundesa's complaint, are containers "with a physically independent agitator that allows users to mix a composition of ingredients," and Inner Armour's version was accused of violating Sundesa's patent for the technology—though in January, Sundesa dismissed the complaint.  

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