Under Armour faces threat of litigation after infringement


When a New Jersey entrepreneur starts a business, probably one of the biggest fears is getting sued for any reason. With so many products out there, there is a risk of any person unintentionally copying another company's idea and making it their own. That is allegedly the case with sportswear manufacturer Under Armour.

The company recently put a yoga towel on the market - one that is striking similar to another, according to Yogitoes. In 2003, Yogitoes created a towel that has a sticky bottom, preventing slips. The company claims that the Grippy Towel from Under Armour infringes on this design.

Under Armour must now face the threat of litigation. In fact, Yogitoes filed a lawsuit on Nov. 21. The company is seeking actual damages, treble damages, which is three times the amount of actual damages and attorneys' fees. The company is also demanding a jury trial. Under Armour is aware of the lawsuit but has not yet responded.

Even if Under Armour did not intentionally set out to infringe on Yogitoes' patent, the company can still be held liable for damages. For example, if Under Armour profited from the sale of the mats, then Yogitoes can receive that money as part of the settlement because Under Armour stole the company's proprietary information.

It's important for companies to do their research before putting a product on the market. Just because a person hasn't seen anything like it on the market doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. The best way to conduct a full research is to go through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) database. By searching through the database, a company can determine if the product is truly an idea that has ever been seen before.

Source: Baltimore Business Journal, " Under Armour faces patent lawsuit over yoga towels," Sarah Meehan, Nov. 27, 2013