April 18th, 2019Nike is Seeking to Trademark ”Footware”

Nike has been reshaping the footwear industry since 1964, even before they were officially “Nike.” The shoe giant was founded in 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight as “Blue Ribbon Sports” and officially became Nike in 1971, but enough with the history lesson. Nike’s innovation and creativity can be seen though their footwear, apparel, equipment, accessories, and advertisements. From LeBron James’ lifetime contract to Cristiano Ronaldo’s $1 billion deal to their empowering ads and even self-lacing technology.

Nike is the future.

The Portland-based sportwear giant is always coming up with the most inspirational and motivating marketing campaigns behind their products or sponsored athletes. Just take a look at their latest spot for Tiger Woods after getting his 5th green jacket last week at the Masters since 2008.

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Never stop chasing your crazy dream. #justdoit

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Like I side previously, Nike is the future. Nike is at the forefront of anything and everything sports apparel related and they are now trying to protect anything in their futuristic collection by running over to the USPTO. Last month, Nike filed an intent-to-use trademark application for registration for the word “footware” – for use in connection with footwear that includes “computer hardware modules for receiving, processing, and transmitting data in Internet of things electronic devices; electronic devices and computer software that allow users to remotely interact with other smart devices for monitoring and controlling automated systems,” according to The Fashion Law.

Will branding shoes as “footware” instead of “footwear” become as powerful and influential as their infamous “Just Do It” slogan? This is a big step for the boys over in Beaverton. If they can get over the USPTO, Nike could really distance themselves from the pack in the smart shoe industry.

A very interesting approach by Nike – very innovative branding and aggressive from a trademark standpoint.  It will be interesting to see if the mark “footware” is granted by the Trademark Office. Normally the close resemblance to the generic word “footwear” would block registration, since the trademark office doesn’t give much weight to minor differences in spelling.  So for example the Trademark Office considers the terms “Rox” and “Rocks” to be the same word for trademark purposes.

Here though Nike has described the goods associated with the mark as footwear having electronic and software components.  Nike is hoping that the office will grant the mark because it would be used in a narrower category of shoes, those with electronics and software. Will this be enough for the mark to get granted? Only time will tell….it is of note though that Nike filed the mark as intent-to-use. They may be waiting to see how the Trademark Office rules before putting a lot of marketing effort into this project.

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