Nike had an endorsement contract with Boris Berian, a middle-distance track star who is expected to make the US Olympic team. Nike had a right of first refusal with regard to new agreements. Berian presented an offer from rival footwear manufacturer, New Balance. There is a dispute as to whether Nike matched New Balance’s offer, and therefore whether the Nike contract is still in effect.
There is also a dispute as to whether Berian is presently endorsing New Balance. He alleges that he is not under contract with New Balance now, but Berian has been wearing New Balance footwear at recent events. He allegedly has been promoting NEW BALANCE via his social media accounts (for example, using a #nbrunning hashtag).
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials are in July, and the Rio Olympics in August, so Nike is seeking urgent relief.
I’m curious as to the exact relief requested. I can think of three different possible elements of a proposed injunction:
1. That Berian can’t endorse New Balance
2. That Berian can’t wear New Balance
3. That Berian must wear Nike
The attached motion refers to a draft TRO but I couldn’t find one in the docket. The motion states: ‘at a minimum, therefore, defendant is barred from entering an endorsement contract with New Balance.’ In the complaint, Nike requested that Berian be enjoined from ‘competing in or otherwise endorsing any Nike competitor’s product (including but not limited to, footwear and apparel). So Nike is equating an athlete competing in footwear with endorsing that footwear.
Just for the sake of argument – considering the arising from Berian merely competing in New Balance (apart from social media references and the like), how is that harm different from (as in more irreparable than) that caused to Nike by every other athlete who doesn’t wear Nike?
I logged onto CNN.COM and immediately noticed my friend’s name next to a CNN headline. What? After some confusion, I realized that CNN has installed Facebook’s Open Graph Plug-in. This article will explain it better than I will, but I’ll try any way. My friend must have indicated that she had ‘liked’ a particular article by ‘sharing’ it on FB. CNN allows FB to populate a box on its home page. I logged onto FB and FB was able to tell that one of my friends had liked a CNN article and populated a ‘popular on Facebook’ box with her name and the fact that she had shared the article ((along with other information that was of no interest to me whatsoever, for example 11 thousand people on FB had shared this article).
Now, my friend had voluntarily decided to make this information about her reading habits public to her FB friends, and I would have seen this info anyway the next time I logged onto FB, but somehow I felt a little creeped out by this – as we hurtle ever closer to the scene in ‘Minority Report’ where Tom Cruise is being chased in the shopping mall, and the talking advertisements almost blow his cover.
PSFK: Interview with Freshjive re its logoless brandless campaign. MUJI has a ‘no brand’ brand as well – in fact its name MUJI is reportedly an abbreviation for ‘no brand, good product‘ in Japanese.
In a subsequent meeting with Tide marketers, the packaging discussion focused on whether to abandon Tide’s trademark orange. Shoppers on average spend 45 to 60 seconds in the laundry aisle, devoting just seven seconds to choosing a product, making color a crucial guide for finding the right product, P&G research found.
The group considered yellow and blue, the other colors of Tide’s famous bull’s eye. A handful of other laundry brands used blue but few had yellow. “People kept insisting, ‘Tide isn’t yellow,'” says Mr. Tosolini. “But then we thought maybe it could discourage current Tide users, which is what we wanted.”
Identity Forum: The Bug, the Worm and the Death Star (nicknames for trademarks).
American Girl, the doll company based in Middleton, Wis., is expecting strong demand for the newest doll in its historical character line. The 18-inch doll, which went on sale on Sunday, is named Rebecca Rubin and comes with a storybook that describes her life in 1914, growing up on the Lower East Side as the daughter of Jewish Russian immigrants.
But the F.B.I. is more interested in another Rebecca Rubin. Rebecca J. Rubin, who sometimes goes by the alias Little Missy, is a fugitive who was indicted in 2006 in a series of arson fires in Oregon dating to 1997, according to her F.B.I. wanted poster.