18 June 2018Trademarks

Nike drops collection after TM warning from US Naval Academy

Sports brand Nike has cancelled a fashion collection after receiving a warning from the US Naval Academy (USNA).

Nike collaborated with US-based fashion line Undefeated to release a line of apparel, which included a crest that the USNA said infringed its own logo.

On Thursday, June 14, the USNA tweeted that the similarities between the logos are “undeniable” and it is “clearly an infringement under trademark law”.

The USNA crest depicts a ship, with a hand holding a trident rising above the ship. The crest was registered as a trademark at the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2012, under registration number 4,197,000. It covers educational services, namely university level courses.

Nike and Undefeated’s crest shows a similar coat of arms, with a hand holding a trophy bearing Nike’s ‘Swoosh’ logo.

“USNA is working with Navy leadership to order Nike/Undefeated to cease and desist their use of the logo,” said USNA in a tweet.

The academy added that its crest represents “honour, integrity and leadership” and is symbolic of its 80,000 alumni that have served the US in the navy.

“It is difficult to understand why anyone would modify and use our symbol without permission for marketing and profit motives,” added the USNA.

The next day, on Friday, June 15, Nike apologised for the use of the logo and said that it will no longer make the fashion collection available.

According to the Washington Post, Nike said: “We do not feel it is appropriate to move forward with the collection. We apologise to anyone who was offended.”

The USNA praised Nike’s “respectful” decision on Twitter.

Undefeated posted an image on Instagram, informing its audience that the collection will no longer be available for purchase.

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories like this sent straight to your inbox.

Today’s top stories

US and China target each other with 25% tariffs

FIFA to take action over illegal broadcast of World Cup matches

Monster Energy’s opposition to Tencent’s TM fails in Singapore

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

4 July 2018   Defending Wimbledon champion Roger Federer has said he is confident he will obtain the rights to the ‘RF’ logo.
27 July 2018   A clothing brand has been successful in preventing Nike from using the term ‘LDNR’ in its ‘Nothing beats a LDNR’ advertising campaign, based on an earlier trademark.
27 February 2019   Sports brand Nike has accused a Chinese footwear brand of infringing numerous design patents and trademarks in a bid to create associations with Nike.