MMA brand ‘Venum’ sued by Nike for alleged Trademark Infringement

Nike, the global sports apparel giant has filed a case against the owners of MMA brand ‘Venum’ for allegedly infringing on their trademark.  A copy of the complaint, which was obtained by alleges false designation of origin, unfair competition and seeks cancellation of trademarks by Nike.  The case was filed on January 8, 2014, in Oregon District Court.

DBV Distribution, Inc., and Dragon Bleu, SARL, are the alleged defendants in the suit.  Nike claims in the suit that they had promoted the mark “Venom” since at least 2002.  They also claim that they had applied for the “Venom” trademark in 2003 and the same was registered in 2005. Nike also alleges that Dragon Bleu had its trademark for “Venum” registered in 2008, several years after Nike obtained its trademark, and that the mark causes confusion for consumers and hurt Nike’s brand.

In addition to the above, Nike also states that this past November, Dragon Bleu had filed a suit in France alleging Nike’s use of the mark “Hypervenom” on soccer boots infringed on the “Venum” mark in Europe.  Nike, while denying these allegation by Dragon Bleu, also states in the suit that “defendants cannot have it both ways” in regard to the marks being allowed to coexist in the United States but allegedly infringing on Dragon Bleu’s trademark in Europe.

Nike is trying for an injunction prohibiting the defendants from selling, offering to sell, distributing or advertising the alleged infringing products or any products that use the “Venum” mark.  Nike also seeks an award of the defendants’ “profits, actual damages, enhanced profits and damages, punitive damages, costs, and reasonable attorney fees…and such other and further relief as this court deems just and proper.”  They also desire orders requesting the destruction of all infringing products including the cancellation of the defendants’ trademarks.

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