Nike Sues Owners of Venum MMA Brand for Alleged Trademark Infringement

By Mike Whitman Feb 15, 2014
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Sports apparel giant Nike has filed suit against the makers of MMA brand Venum for alleged trademark infringement.

Sherdog.com Saturday obtained a copy of the complaint, which was filed Jan. 8 in Oregon District Court and alleges false designation of origin, unfair competition and seeks cancellation of trademarks.

The suit, which names DBV Distribution, Inc., and Dragon Bleu, SARL, as the defendants, alleges that Nike has used and promoted the mark “Venom” since at least 2002, filing an application for its trademark in 2003, which was registered in 2005.

Nike also alleges that Dragon Bleu registered its trademark for “Venum” in 2008, several years after Nike received its trademark, and that the mark causes confusion for consumers and injury to Nike’s brand.

Additionally, Nike states that Dragon Bleu filed a suit this past November in France alleging Nike’s use of the mark “Hypervenom” on soccer boots infringed on the “Venum” mark in Europe. While Nike denies Dragon Bleu’s allegation, the suits also states that “defendants cannot have it both ways” in regard to the marks being allowed to coexist in the United States but allegedly infringing on Dragon Bleu’s trademark in Europe.

Nike is seeking judgment against the defendants and an injunction prohibiting the defendants from selling, offering to sell, distributing or advertising the alleged infringing products or any products that use the “Venum” mark. Nike also seeks orders requesting the destruction of all infringing products and the cancellation of the defendants’ trademarks, as well as an award of the defendants’ “profits, actual damages, enhanced profits and damages, punitive damages, costs, and reasonable attorney fees…and such other and further relief as this court deems just and proper.”

Venum currently sponsors some of the UFC’s best-known fighters, including featherweight champion Jose Aldo, Carlos Condit, Wanderlei Silva, Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua.

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