In a new suit, a New York-based designer is claiming Nike Inc. pinched his logo for use on NBA All-Star Game apparel.
In a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Faded Royalty designer Rocco Giordano alleges that Nike “intentionally, and without authorization” used his “six-point star” logo on Jordan Brand’s “Orange Line” apparel, created for All-Star Weekend 2020.
Giordano said he has been using the six-point star since 2000 and has had his products featured in well-known retailers such as Lids as well as on national television.
“On information and belief [Nike] knew the six-point star was created by Rocco, and that it was the official logo of Faded Royalty, due to the publicity, TV air time, and attention the Faded Royalty brand and in particular its logo, the six-point star has garnered in the last 20 years of its existence,” the complaint reads.
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When the “Orange Line” apparel dropped in February 2020, Giordano said he “was flabbergasted” to see a mark “completely identical” to his six-point star being used on Jordan’s T-shirts and hoodies. Further, the filing accuses Nike of “publicly and falsely” claiming that the design was created by Struggle Inc.’s Cody Hudson. Further, the suit alleges that Nike and Jordan have been advertising and selling a variety of products — ranging from apparel to books, sculptures and coffee mugs — featuring the allegedly infringing market, across social media, in stores and online.
“[Giordano] did not, and has not, transferred his copyright interest in the six-points logo to [Nike] in any capacity whatsoever and was flabbergasted to learn that the fruits of his labor were being used without his consent for profits by one of the largest apparel companies in the world,” the complaint reads.
A representative from Nike told FN that the brand does not comment on pending litigation. In addition to the Swoosh, the suit names as defendants Michael Jordan, along with Hudson and Struggle Inc. Mike Pokutylowicz, owner of Sneakerfits.com, is also named.
Giordano alleges that Nike is guilty of copyright and common law trademark infringement, Lanham Act violations, deceptive business practices, as well as unjust enrichment and unfair competition. Giordano is seeking injunctive relief, compensatory, treble and statutory damages and attorneys’ fees.