The Baltimore-based company filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Williams on March 7. The filing accuses him of trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition and cybersquatting over “I Will,” a mark the brand said it has used dating back to 1998.
Under Armour stated in the complaint that it has used the tagline on product packaging, gift cards, in retail stores, advertising and more, and in 2013, it debuted its “I Will” global marketing campaign, featuring some of its biggest athlete ambassadors.
“For years, Under Armour has continuously and extensively used and promoted the trademark/tagline ‘I Will’ in connection with its business, products and services in various ways,” Under Armour stated in the filing. “As a result, the ‘I Will’ mark has become famous as a succinct symbol of Under Armour’s brand values and philosophy.”
The company called out Williams’ promotion of his I Will Academy personal training and fitness services, his “I Will Business Plan” that details strategy to sell apparel and fitness services, and the iwill4.com domain name in the complaint.
In the filing, Under Armour claimed the use of “I Will” by Williams will “falsely suggest a sponsorship, connection or association between” him and the brand, and has “damaged and irreparably injured and, if permitted to continue, will further damage and irreparably injure Under Armour and its ‘I Will’ mark.”
The athletic giant has been involved in legal battles before with stars of the gridiron. In February 2017, former San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills linebacker Shawne Merriman and his company, Lights Out Holdings LLC, filed suit against Under Armour for trademark infringement and four other counts in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.
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