Nike’s latest battle over trademark infringement comes not from another sportswear company but of the U.S. Naval Academy.
On Thursday, the Naval Academy announced that it would send The Swoosh a cease and desist, citing the similarities between the academy’s crest and a crest used for Nike’s upcoming collaboration with Undefeated.
“The similarities of the Nike/UNDEFEATED logo released this week and the USNA Crest are undeniable and we believe their logo is clearly an infringement under trademark law. USNA is working with Navy leadership to order Nike/UNDEFEATED to cease and desist their use of the logo,” the Annapolis, Md.-based Academy wrote on Twitter.
In wake of the Naval Academy’s concerns, Nike has apologized and stopped production on the line, which was intended to launch today in Los Angeles. The line would have included shirts, pants and other soccer apparel emblazoned with the design.
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In a statement made to the Washington Post, the Oregon-based athletic wear giant confirmed that it would not use the crest.
“We recently were made aware of our logo being included into a design that has been previously used by one of our longstanding partners,” the company said. “We have always respected the U.S. Navy and its Academy and have been a longtime supporter of the military… We do not feel it is appropriate to move forward with the collection. We apologize to anyone who was offended.”
Both crests featured a shield surrounded by columns. The Naval Academy’s crest — used since 1899 — features a hand grasping a trident at the top, with a ship at the center. The design that would have gone on Nike x Undefeated’s apparel featured a hand grasping a Nike-logo’d trophy at the top, with an Undefeated tally mark logo at the center.
The Naval Academy then issued another statement via its Twitter handle: “The Naval Academy appreciates Nike’s announcement to no longer use the UNDEFEATED logo resembling our Naval Academy crest. We are pleased by this decision which is respectful of the Academy, our students and alumni.”
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