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Puma lawsuit alleges rival infringes on patented technology, trademark

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Puma NITRO trademark infringement lawsuit Overview: 

  • Who: Puma SE and Puma North America filed a complaint against Brooks Sports, Inc.
  • Why: Puma claims Brooks is committing trademark infringement by using the company’s NITRO mark to advertise its running shoes. 
  • Where: The lawsuit was filed in Indiana federal court. 

Puma accused Brooks Sports of trademark and patent infringement for allegedly using the company’s trademarked NITRO mark to advertise its running shoes.

Puma claims it sent a letter to Brooks advising that it has “exclusive rights to use its NITRO mark in connection with footwear” and that its rival subsequently refused settlement terms it proposed. 

Instead, Puma argues Brooks moved ahead with an “infringing advertising campaign” that it says makes “extensive use” of its trademarked NITRO mark. 

Puma claims Brooks also “disseminated its infringing advertising campaign via social media” on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. 

“Brooks’ use of the NITRO mark without permission is, and has been, a deliberate attempt to trade on the valuable trademark rights, goodwill and consumer trust established by PUMA in its NITRO mark,” the Puma lawsuit states. 

Puma lawsuit alleges company never authorized Brooks to use NITRO mark

Puma claims it has never authorized Brooks to use its NITRO mark and that the company’s actions in doing so “have caused or are likely to cause significant harm” to its “reputation and hard-earned goodwill.” 

Further, Puma argues that Brooks has engaged in a “pattern of copying PUMA’s technology and disrespecting PUMA’s intellectual property rights.” 

“Defendant’s unauthorized use of the NITRO mark has caused and is likely to cause confusion, deception, and mistake,” the Puma lawsuit states.

Puma claims Brooks is in violation of the Lanham Act, several patent infringement codes and Common Law Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition. 

It requests declaratory and injunctive relief along with damages “adequate to compensate PUMA for the patent infringement.” 

Vans filed a similar class action lawsuit against Walmart earlier this year over claims the retailer is harming the shoe manufacturing company by selling “copycat” versions of Vans shoes. 

Do you believe Brooks is committing copyright infringement by using Puma’s NITRO mark to advertise its running shoes? Let us know in the comments! 

Puma is represented by Joel E. Tragesser, Michael T. Piery and James J. Aquilina of Quarles & Brady LLP. 

The Puma NITRO trademark infringement lawsuit is Puma SE, et al., v. Brooks Sports, Inc., Case No. 1:22-cv-01362, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

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