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Shoe company accuses Under Armour of trademark infringement

California footwear maker Gravity Defyer Corp. accused Baltimore-based Under Armour of trademark infringement in a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court.

The maker of shock-absorbing athletic, casual and dress shoes says in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court that Under Armour intentionally created a product with a name that sounds like its G Defy trademark. The lawsuit seeks to prevent further infringement.

Under Armour representatives could not be immediately reached Monday afternoon. The Locust Point-based sports apparel maker sells a women's "Micro G Defy" running shoe with foam cushioning.

"Under Armour has intentionally created a sound-alike product name in order to mislead consumers and substitute its product for that sought by consumers through search engines and in various online and social media outlets," Gravity Defyer said in a statement.

The footwear company said it originally filed for the trademark in July 2009 and uses G Defy to distinguish its pro-sport line of footwear from its casual and dress lines, which also feature "reverse trampoline soles." The company said it has published the name in magazine, catalog, TV, radio and Internet advertising since 2006.

"Our brand identities are a reflection of the promises we make to consumers every day," Paul Coleman, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Gravity Defyer, said in a statement. "Trademarks are an extension of that promise."

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