A company in northwest Iowa is filing a lawsuit against the clothing and fantastic shoe company Eastbay. The lawsuit claims that Eastbay is using the Iowa company’s trademark in its branding efforts which is an out and out violation of patent and trademark rights as decreed by the USPTO.
The lawsuit was filed by Iowa based Hadar Athletic in a federal court earlier in December. They are arguing that their trademark which was approved by the USPTO in 1998 is being unfairly used by Eastbay in its product branding efforts. Hadar Athletics’ registered mark bears the words “Prepare to Win” which also appears in Eastbay’s catalog.
Hadar’s trademark was issued by USPTO
The Iowa based sports goods company produces a variety of sporting goods and equipment which range from baseball and softball bases to custom mats that have school logos emblazoned on them. The “Prepare to Win” mark has been used in all of Hadar Athletics’ products including their tackling dummies, football field markers, and even the track hurdles that the company produces.
According to Hadar’s patent lawyers, Eastbay is using the same registered mark blatantly on the products featured on its catalog. The words are also prominently displayed on the top of Eastbay’s website. Eastbay is a well-known company and a famous brand in the sports clothing and equipment department and it is just not right on their part to use another company’s mark―and a competitor at that, no matter how small―without their knowledge.
Eastbay refused to negotiate deal
Hadar’s patent attorneys also say that the company wanted to make an out-of-court settlement and deal with the entire issue in a non-confrontational manner. But even after sending Eastbay a notice in July this year, the company could not persuade the brand to change its tactics. The July notice had asked Eastbay to stop using the words “Prepare to Win” on their site and on their products and product collaterals, and it had also sought to negotiate a settlement for the monetary damages caused by Eastbay’s use of the company motto.
Eastbay’s campaign was created by California ad agency
The company however says that it’s “Prepare to Win” campaign was created by an advertising agency based in Venice, California called Zambezi. The campaign had included Robb Riggle, one of the actors from ‘The Hangover’ movies and was hugely popular. The company has denied making any public statements so far and the media contact representative for Eastbay has refused to speak to members of the press and issue an official statement or clear the brand’s standing on the matter so far. Camille Urban, a patent lawyer working for Hadar Athletic, has also refused to divulge more information about the upcoming case.
However, this clearly is not the end of the saga. A war on the use of registered trademarks can be long stretched unless Eastbay wants to get it over with by welcoming the out of court settlement that Hadar Athletic had offered before. If the case goes to court it could turn out to be some serious bad news for Eastbay in the coming future.
Hadar is relatively unknown. Eastbay is a monster. Eastbay should be able to come up with its own slogans, it is not that hard.