19 March 2020TrademarksSarah Morgan

Surf doc maker sues Nike, Footlocker over ‘Endless Summer’ TM

The filmmaker behind 1966 surf documentary “The Endless Summer” has accused sportswear brands Footlocker and Nike of infringing the filmmaker’s trademarks through a marketing campaign the two ran last year.

Bruce Brown Films, which manages the merchandising and licensing of the film’s IP and was formed by documentary maker Bruce Brown, claimed that Footlocker’s Champs stores and Nike used the ‘Endless Summer’ trademark to promote Nike shoes across all 529 Champs stores and online.

The Nike campaign, which took place between May and August last year, was used to promote the sales of at least six styles of shoes, including those in the Nike React Presto and Nike Air Max ranges, as well as Nike shirts, hats, and shorts, the claim said.

It reportedly used a similar image to “The Endless Summer” poster, which features stylised blue waves with a large orange sun, and the phrase “Endless Summer”.

The suit, filed at the US District Court for the Central District of California on Tuesday, March 17, alleged that the infringement continued even after Footlocker’s Champs received a letter demanding that it cease-and-desist its conduct.

“Plaintiff’s IP is well known to the American public, and is permanently intertwined with the motion picture ‘The Endless Summer’, and as such, ‘Endless Summer’ and the images emblematic of the ‘Endless Summer’ film poster have become famous and distinctive brands,” alleged the suit, adding that the brand is a highly profitable property for the purposes of licensing goods and services.

Products featuring the ‘Endless Summer’ brands include apparel, accessories, collectibles and alcohol.

“These products are manufactured under strict quality control and style approval,” added the claim. “Because plaintiff cannot control the nature and quality of defendants’ Champs stores or Nike merchandise, defendants’ infringing activities have had and will have an adverse effect on plaintiff’s business and reputation.”

Bruce Brown Films is seeking an injunction against Nike and Footlocker, destruction of all the infringing merchandise, damages and profits.

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