Justia Trademark Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. Supreme Court
Already, LLC v. Nike, Inc.
Nike alleged that Already’s athletic shoes violated Nike’s Air Force 1 trademark; Already challenged the trademark. While the suit was pending, Nike agreed not to raise any trademark or unfair competition claims against Already or any affiliated entity based on Already’s existing footwear designs, or any future designs that constituted a “colorable imitation” of Already’s current products. Nike moved to dismiss its claims with prejudice and to dismiss Already’s counterclaim without prejudice. Already opposed dismissal of its counterclaim, indicating that Already planned to introduce new versions of its lines, that potential investors would not consider investing until Nike’s trademark was invalidated, and that Nike had intimidated retailers into refusing to carry Already’s shoes. The district court dismissed. The Second Circuit affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, finding the case moot. The breadth of the covenant suffices to meet the burden imposed by the “voluntary cessation doctrine.” The covenant is unconditional and irrevocable. Already did not establish that it engages in or has concrete plans to engage in activities that would arguably infringe Nike’s trademark yet not be covered by the covenant. The fact that some individuals may base decisions on hypothetical speculation does not give rise to the sort of injury necessary to establish standing. The Court rejected the “sweeping argument” that, as one of Nike’s competitors, Already inherently has standing because no covenant can eradicate the effects of a registered but invalid trademark. View "Already, LLC v. Nike, Inc." on Justia Law