BOSTON (CBS) — Rob Gronkowski’s company Gronk Nation L.L.C. filed in April to trademark the Patriots tight end’s new logo, a silhouette of his signature “Gronk Spike” celebration. But Nike has reportedly blocked the filing because of its similarity to Michael Jordan’s iconic “Air Jordan” Jumpman logo.
As reported by ESPN’s Darren Rovell on Friday, Nike filed an opposition to the USPTO Trial & Appeal Board earlier in June. It is arguing that the Gronk Nation logo looks too similar to “Air Jordan,” a silhouette of NBA legend Michael Jordan performing a slam dunk. Nike, a brand that Gronk endorses by wearing its cleats, believes the two logos could be confused with one another.
Gronk had intended to use the logo on clothing and other gear. His legal team now has until Aug. 5 to respond or lose its filing altogether. It could eventually lead to a court battle over the two logos and trademarks.
“My client has created one of the most recognizable brands in sports today,” said attorney Troy Carnrite, one of the Gronkowski family’s legal reps. “We are very proud of this brand and are optimistic that we will resolve this with Nike amicably.”
Nike will have to argue that the two logos could be confused, despite depicting two different people in different sports. But based on the aesthetics of the two logos, and that Gronk intends to use it on clothing and athletic gear, Nike may have a case.