Balance Athletica, a Denver-based athleisure brand, has officially changed its name following a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by New Balance.
In the lawsuit filed in Nov. 2020 in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, New Balance alleged that Balance Athletica was using a “confusingly similar mark to sell the same goods, to the same consumers, using the same marketing channels.” The athletic giant also noted that “actual confusion in the marketplace” had already occurred at the time of filing the complaint, including a screenshot from a recent item being sold on Poshmark.
New Balance went on to claim in the complaint that Balance Athletica’s use of these “confusingly similar marks” were part of a larger plan to “deliberately free ride” on New Balance’s famous brand. The athletic brand further showed that Balance Athletica filed an intent-to-use trademark application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office for the mark “Achieve Balance” for, among other things, footwear and apparel. New Balance said in the complaint it had been using the mark “Achieve” in its advertisements, at point of purchase, and on its products since the late 1990s.
The case was closed in Sept. 2021 and on Monday, Balance Athletica said it was changing its name to Vitality. The company made no mention of the New Balance lawsuit in its rebranding announcement on Monday. But, Amy Dow, director of public relations and government affairs at New Balance, Told FN, “New Balance is pleased to have resolved the matter on mutually agreeable terms.”
According to a statement by the newly-named Vitality on Monday, the change in name represents the opportunity to elevate and evolve nearly four years after its founding. “Vitality is seizing the opportunity to further expand what’s become one of the athleisure industry’s fastest-growing businesses. After initially launching in 2018, Vitality has quickly grown into a company of 50+ employees and has expanded into a 35,000 square foot HQ and distribution center in Denver,” the company said in a statement.
Vitality said it will now focus on elevating key pillars of its company ethos and operation. This includes upgrading its fulfillment operations and offering 24/7 customer service support. Vitality is also ramping up its sustainability effort, inclusive of packaging and fulfillment – slated to roll out throughout 2022 and beyond.
“I am excited for the evolution of Balance into Vitality,” added CEO Taylor Dilk. “Our mission of inclusivity, commitment to our customers, and focus on confidence-inducing apparel will remain at the forefront. A sense of purpose is one of the most important things in our lives and supporting everybody in their pursuit of a purposeful existence is a concept we believe in wholeheartedly. What started as a pursuit has now evolved into a purpose. We are eager to embrace this evolution and forward motion that is rooted in the mission of Vitality.”