Image Credits: DAILYSNARK.COM
According to ESPN, it is believed that Nike filed a lawsuit against Rob Gronkowski logo a few days ago after finding out that his logo design looks too similar to Nike’s Jordan Brand Jumpman logo. The Jumpman is known as one of the most recognizable sports logos in the sports fraternity. Also known as the Gronk, the tight end for New England Patriots in the NFL has won the Super Bowl twice in 2014 and 2016 respectively. The Rob Gronkowski logo primarily represents his emphatic spike celebration every time he scores a touchdown.
Furthermore, his emphatic spike celebration also featured on the main cover of the Madden NFL 2017 video game. In an interview with Greg Bishop of the New York Times back in 2012, Gronk stated that there is no particular style or formula to follow for delivering the spike celebration. He added, “Spike it hard, as hard as you can.”
Image Credits: STATIC.NFL.COM
Darren Rovell of ESPN reported that Nike filed an official conflict to the United States Patent and Trademark Office Trial and Appeal Board. According to the filing, either Gronkowski’s team can abandon the trademark logo design or respond to Nike by August 5.
Michael Jordan has been concerned about his image ever since he got famous. He once made it public that all those who try to leverage by making revenues from the Crying Jordan meme, he should be getting his fair share of loyalties.
It seems that Nike has gone above and beyond to protect its most famous endorser, the great Michael Jordan. However, the filing came at the expense of another one of its most influential endorsers, Rob Gronkowski.
So far, the Gronk has not made the use of his trademark anywhere as is was still awaiting the approval for a patent. But it cannot be denied that the Rob Gronkowski logo resembles Nike’s Jordan Brand Jumpman sports logo silhouette.
Image Credits: WORDPRESS.COM
Here are the differences if we compare both logo designs side by side:
- Michael Jordan’s feet are in the air whereas, in Gronk’s celebration, his feet are planted on the ground.
- In the logo design, the avatar is holding a football; the Jumpman uses a basketball.
- Jumpman sports logo is a flight imagery while Gronk’s motion is downwards with an emphatic spike.
Rob Gronkowski represents Nike whenever he steps on the field for New England Patriots. Furthermore, the team’s kit also showcases Nike swooshes because they are official partners of the NFL. Nike came up with the Jumpman logo back in November 1987 where it first featured on Air Jordan 3.
Irrespective, both designs are similar to an extent. The patent lawyer of Posz Law Group, Therese Varndell, was inquired about the filing to which he responded:
“Nike has the burden to prove to the Trademark Office that the use of the Spikeman together with the overall design and words and for the goods applied for will likely confuse consumers as to the origin of Mark – that is, consumers would likely be confused that this is Nike’s mark. U.S. Trademark law states that words dominate in a word/logo mark. This means that in deciding the confusion question, the U.S. Trademark Office will put the most weight on the words and not so much on the design. Under that test, Gronk Fitness is pretty unique and may be determined that it not be likely to be confused with Nike at all.”
It is evident that Gronkowski might be thinking to avoid a lawsuit or court filing with Nike. If needed, it is still possible and easy to change the position of the arm slightly to make the design a bit different. However, the advocate of Gronkowski, Troy Carnrite, told Perez:
“My client, Rob Gronkowski, has created one of the most recognizable brands in sports today, and we are very proud of this brand and are optimistic that we will resolve this with Nike amicably.”