Snowboarder Casey Scherr started a company called Ass Armor in 2013 to sell shock-absorbing athletic shorts designed to protect the tailbone. Now, the Ft. Lauderdale company faces a trademark infringement lawsuit from Under Armour — and plans to fight.
The $3 billion Baltimore athletic apparel maker also accused the snowboard shorts maker of unfair competition and cybersquatting for using the name Ass Armor and a tagline that could be confused with Under Armour's. The defendant copies Under Armour by using similar lettering and putting the Ass Armor name along the shorts' waistband, the lawsuit says.
"Making matters worse, similar to Under Armour's well-known and widely promoted Protect This House tagline mark, defendants use, advertise and promote their Ass Armor mark, name and products… in connection with the Protect Your Assets tagline," says the lawsuit, filed last month in U.S. District Court in Maryland.
The defendants' names falsely suggest a connection or sponsorship between Ass Armor and Under Armour, according to the lawsuit, which asks the court to strip the company of its current name.
"We strongly believe the lawsuit filed by Under Armour has no merit," said Scherr, president of the company that makes only the padded shorts, in an email Thursday. "Ass Armor has spent months fighting with Under Armour in front of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and then, without notice, Under Armour filed this matter in federal court. We believe this is a classic David and Goliath battle. As David, we intend to fight."
Under Armour, which also makes padded protective pants and shorts, did not respond to requests for comment.
Under Armour has felt the need to defend its brand in similar cases, recently. The company sued Skechers, saying the shoe and apparel maker copied Under Armour's "Protect This House. I Will" ads, and Salt Armour Inc., saying the Boca Raton-based seller of saltwater fishing apparel used the "Salt Armour" and "Defense Armour" names in violation of Under Armour's trademark rights.