Fitness clothing brand wins David v Goliath battle with Nike over trademark

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A niche clothing brand has won a David-versus-Goliath legal battle against Nike over a trademark.

Activewear label LNDR, based in east London, complained over the global sportswear giant’s “Nothing Beats a Londoner” campaign.

Nike’s marketing campaign, aimed at 16 to 24-year-olds in London, included the use of its famous “swoosh” logo with the letters LDNR above it.

Celebrities associated with the city, including Harry Kane, Skepta and Sir Mo Farah, were featured in a film as part of the campaign – which was launched in January.

The multinational argued its use of LDNR could not be said to infringe LNDR’s trademark because people were likely to see it as meaning “Londoner” and therefore would not confuse it with the fitness brand.

But, granting an injunction against Nike, Mr Justice Arnold said there was a “likelihood of confusion” and that the evidence he heard indicated some consumers had mixed up the two brands.

LNDR founder Joanna Turner said she felt she had “no choice” but to bring action against Nike to protect her firm’s brand.

She said: “It was not an easy decision to go up against a giant like Nike, and it is not a situation you imagine you will ever have to take on.

“We are both pleased and relieved that the judge saw things the same way as we did.

“We are delighted that we can now focus on continuing to build our brand and grow our business, in the UK as well as around the world.”

Arty Rajendra, of law firm Osborne Clarke, which represented LNDR, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the result.

“We love the LNDR brand and admire the success its founders have achieved so far.

“It was a brave decision to sue a company as big as Nike.

“However, LNDR has a growing reputation and as a premium brand it could not sit by and let Nike damage it.”

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