Nike has lost a trademark dispute with women's sportswear brand LNDR in a legal dispute focused on its distinctive 'Nothing Beats a Londoner' campaign.
Nike removed the creative from its YouTube channel in March amid the initial legal complaint, which stated the global sports brand's use of 'LDNR' breached the LNDR trademark.
London-based LNDR was concerned Nike's LDNR hit too close to home and infringed on its branding.
The Intellectual Property Enterprise yesterday (25 July) favoured the case of LNDR and warned the US apparel company not to use LDNR again. In the film, prominent influencers were seen wearing LDNR branding, and the logo was also rolled out on social media and in-store displays, and at live events at merchandising giveaways.
The court heard that Nike conducted a trademark search and was aware of LNDR before running LDNR creative.
Joanna Turner, founder of East London based LNDR, said: “Nike’s campaign gained a huge amount of exposure very quickly. From our point of view, it was educating the public that ‘LDNR’ was either a Nike trademark, or that there was a collaboration between our two brands. We felt that we had no choice but to protect our brand and identity, and the trademarks that support them, which are critical to our continued growth.
“We work very hard to create the best premium, high-quality products in the market, and confusion of our products or brand with Nike would be extremely damaging."
Turner said it was not an easy decision to go up against Nike. “It is not a situation you imagine you will ever have to take on. We are both pleased and relieved that the judge saw things the same way as we did.
“We are delighted that we can now focus on continuing to build our brand and grow our business, in the UK as well as around the world.”
LNDR, a modest active wear firm in comparison to Nike, is stocked in Selfridges, Net-a-Porter, Matches, Nordstrom, Lane Crawford, Beams and Le Bon Marche.
The February campaign from Wieden+Kennedy split opinions of The Drum contributors at launch. While the content was generally applauded, the London-centric nature of the work alienated some beyond the capital. The work was far reaching however before its removal.
The Drum has contacted Nike and W+K for comment.