Nike has fired back at one of its top spokesmen, saying that his logo is too much like that of the Jordan brand.
Earlier this month, the shoe and apparel giant filed a formal opposition to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trial and Appeal Board, saying a logo of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski in silhouette spiking a football could be confused with its Air Jordan Jumpman logo that it has used since November 1987.
“We hope to work this out to everyone’s satisfaction,” a Nike spokesperson said Friday.
In April 2016, Gronkowski’s company, Gronk Nation L.L.C., filed to trademark the logo for use on clothing and exercise equipment.
Gronkowski’s team has until Aug. 5 to respond or risk abandoning the filing. If nothing is resolved, the two sides will battle over the mark.
“My client has created one of the most recognizable brands in sports today,” said attorney Troy Carnrite, a partner with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, which represents the Gronkowski family. “We are very proud of this brand and are optimistic that we will resolve this with Nike amicably.”
Gronkowski not only wears Nike cleats on the field, but his uniform is also adorned with swooshes, as the company has official NFL uniform rights.