California - A term synonymous with the National Basketball Association is at the center of a trademark infringement complaint against Nike. Urban Motive Sportswear has filed a lawsuit against the sportswear giant for allegedly violating its "Lottery Pick" trademark after Nike used it on a Michael Jordan jacket.
In its trademark infringement complaint, filed in a United States district court in Illinois, Urban Motive Sportswear is alleging that Nike outright stole its trademark by using it on a jacket for sale called the Jordan LS Lottery Pick Jacket. The company registered the term "Lottery Pick" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office back in 2006. The company also claims that it has been selling sports apparel, an energy drink, and other merchandise with the trademark for years.
According to Urban Motive Sportswear, Nike's alleged infringement is particularly harmful to its business since it has done most of its marketing in Chicago, the town where Michael Jordan played out most of his NBA career with the Bulls and where it claims confusion has been created among consumers. The company also contends that it provided Jordan's sons with free sportswear.
In official court documents, Urban Motive Sportswear wrote that Nike's infringement on its trademark has "damaged us in a manner that cannot fully be measured or compensated in economic terms and for which there is not adequate remedy at law."
In the NBA, fourteen teams participate in the Draft Lottery, which is weighted so that the team with the worst record will have the best chance to secure a higher draft pick. The term "lottery pick" is a draft pick whose position is determined through the lottery, while the non-playoff teams involved in the process are often called "lottery teams."
Nike, which refused to comment on the pending litigation, is being sued for unspecified monetary damages.
Michael Jordan, otherwise known as "His Airness", was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The former player, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, has been credited by many as being the greatest professional basketball player of all time. Having led the Chicago Bulls to six national championships, Jordan has been one of the most effectively marketed athletes and was considered responsible for popularizing the NBA on a global level in the 1980's and 1990's.