According to the Fashion Law, representatives from the brands appeared before the High Court of Justice in London this week for an appeal hearing filed by Puma in March 2019 against Nike’s efforts in trademarking the term “footware.”
Puma’s argument is that the term is too generic and that its “obvious combination” of the words “footwear” and “hardware” (or “software”) merely describes any sneaker equipped with hardware or software and cannot be registered.
Puma also argued that the Swoosh’s decision to “misspell” the word footwear as “footware” could also be an attempt to potentially prevent its competitors from using it to sell “smart shoes.”
The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) sided with Nike by dismissing Puma’s opposition in November 2020. The UKIPO hearing officer said that the term does not have an “immediately apparent” or an obvious meaning and that the “evidence at play does not establish that the mark is used descriptively in relation to the goods and services.”
The report states that the legal saga between the brands is also happening in the stateside and is currently under review by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). We’ll continue to follow along with the case as it develops.