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Nike thinks Rob Gronkowski’s logo too close to their Michael Jordan logo

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Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has appeared in commercials for Nike and had a signature shoe released by the company last year, but the company and Gronkowski are on different sides of a dispute regarding a logo Gronkowski wants to use for other merchandising pursuits.

Darren Rovell of ESPN.com reports that Nike filed a formal opposition to Gronkowski’s logo with the United States Patent & Trademark Office Trial & Appeal Board. The logo shows a split-legged football player spiking a football in a manner similar to the way Gronkowski spikes the ball after touchdowns.

Nike believes it is also too similar to their well-known “Jumpman” logo modeled on Michael Jordan dunking a basketball.

“My client has created one of the most recognizable brands in sports today,” Gronkowski’s attorney Troy Carnrite said. “We are very proud of this brand and are optimistic that we will resolve this with Nike amicably.”

That would seem to be a decent bet given the prior relationship between Gronkowski and the company, although one can never know exactly how a logo showdown will play out.

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39 Responses to “Nike thinks Rob Gronkowski’s logo too close to their Michael Jordan logo”
  1. pftthoughtpolicemostwanted says: Jun 30, 2017 2:24 PM

    It almost looks like it was done on purpose to look like Jordan’s logo. I’d want it changed too if I was Nike.

  2. tjacks7 says: Jun 30, 2017 2:28 PM

    Nike is blind if they think these logos look the same. Apparently they’re trying to claim that any image of anyone playing any sport is the same as the Jordan logo.

  3. bullcharger says: Jun 30, 2017 2:40 PM

    It’s a silhouette of a player doing their signature move. In that sense it’s similar.

    If I saw that on a shirt I would not think it was a Nike product. If I saw it on the ankle of a shoe I might. It depends how it is used.

  4. BarbequeTime says: Jun 30, 2017 2:51 PM

    They will reach an agreement that has Nike being the distributor of Gronk branded products.

  5. ButtFumbler says: Jun 30, 2017 2:53 PM

    Congrats to Gronk’s attorney for the quote “My client has created one of the most recognizable brands in sports today” – that is a fantastically ridiculous statement considering 99% of readers had no idea Gronk had his own brand until today.

  6. elyasm says: Jun 30, 2017 2:53 PM

    I think both sides have a really valid argument in this case and it will be intriguing to see how the court rules (if the case goes that far without having been settled).

  7. pastabelly says: Jun 30, 2017 2:56 PM

    The silhouette logo is a classic and that is Jerry West as the NBA’s official logo. Unless Nike is saying they own the silhouette, there is no infringement. The Gronk spike is his “trademark” touchdown celebration. I can look at one and say Gronk and the other and say Jordan.

  8. harrisonhits2 says: Jun 30, 2017 2:56 PM

    Gronk’s signature spike, and its clearly a football. Should not really be an issue.

  9. pburghballin says: Jun 30, 2017 2:57 PM

    anyone who doesn’t see the GLARING similarities is obtuse…or a Patriots fan.

  10. nestrongsafety says: Jun 30, 2017 2:58 PM

    ButtFumbler says:
    Jun 30, 2017 2:53 PM
    Congrats to Gronk’s attorney for the quote “My client has created one of the most recognizable brands in sports today” – that is a fantastically ridiculous statement considering 99% of readers had no idea Gronk had his own brand until today.
    ____________________________________
    Gronk is the brand!…and it seems that 1% of readers were not aware of this.

  11. 12coltsfan12 says: Jun 30, 2017 3:01 PM

    ButtFumbler says:
    Jun 30, 2017 2:53 PM
    Congrats to Gronk’s attorney for the quote “My client has created one of the most recognizable brands in sports today” – that is a fantastically ridiculous statement considering 99% of readers had no idea Gronk had his own brand until today.
    ———————————————————————-
    and the fact that you and others are so familiar w/the Gronk brand and yet are unaware that it is indeed a brand is what makes it so incredibly valuable…and powerful…

  12. raiderinva says: Jun 30, 2017 3:03 PM

    I think it is fairly safe to say that Rob Gronkowski is to a logo as Weird Al Yankovic is to a song.

  13. absolutevisuals says: Jun 30, 2017 3:09 PM

    Definitely too close. May or may not be winning lawsuit worthy, thus not even worth the risk. They can easily change the pose and possibly add some color to make it look different or not Examples, Jordan Logo and Jerry West NBA Logo. Both basketball but don’t look the same at all.

  14. nathanp2013 says: Jun 30, 2017 3:10 PM

    It’s a silhouette of a ball player in action… how is that any different than what Nike/Jumpman did with the NBA logo?

  15. eramming says: Jun 30, 2017 3:19 PM

    Ripped a page from the movie Coming to America,Mcdowells vs McDonalds, stealing just enough of a popular brand as to not get sued and lose to launch your own! Lol Good job Gronk!

  16. patsfiend says: Jun 30, 2017 3:22 PM

    No reasonable person or sports fan would confuse the two. Does Jordan hold the patent on silhouettes?

  17. Purple People Eaters says: Jun 30, 2017 3:22 PM

    This sounds like something Trump would say.

  18. siuleno says: Jun 30, 2017 3:35 PM

    lol. it looks like Polo Association vs. Polo by Ralph Lauren.

  19. tonebones says: Jun 30, 2017 3:39 PM

    Nike is wrong. The Jordan logo looks like Jordan, and the Gronk logo looks exactly like Gronk. Nike doesn’t own Gronk. Unless Nike can convince someone that any silhouette logo belongs to them. It’s like a can or a bottle. A silhouette is just a silhouette. A can is a can. Pepsi can’t sue Coke for using a can, just because their product comes in a can too.

  20. stexan says: Jun 30, 2017 3:40 PM

    Gronk being Gronk ain’t gonna cut it this time.

    Tolja he’s starting to remind me of Manziel.

  21. gstewart400 says: Jun 30, 2017 3:44 PM

    Wait….Gronk’s logo isn’t him chugging a beer?

  22. TheVikingsHaveHowManySBTrophys? says: Jun 30, 2017 3:46 PM

    Nike is wrong. If someone can’t distinguish between the Air Jordan logo and Gronks logo, you need an eye exam.
    And I’m no Gronk fan.

  23. maiphatdong says: Jun 30, 2017 3:48 PM

    doesn’t look like he has a helmet on

  24. granadafan says: Jun 30, 2017 3:54 PM

    ““My client has created one of the most recognizable brands in sports today,” Gronkowski’s attorney Troy Carnrite said.”
    ===========================================

    That’s a good one. Nice try

  25. Lemmy Aksyadis says: Jun 30, 2017 3:55 PM

    pburghballin says:
    Jun 30, 2017 2:57 PM
    anyone who doesn’t see the GLARING similarities is obtuse…or a Patriots fan.

    – Nice objectivity there. The question is not are there similarities, of course there are. The logos are easily distinguishable so the real question is, does Nike own the concept of a silhouette of an athlete with spread legs and one arm in the air with a ball in his hand as a trademark in every aspect. So they also own a baseball player silhouette reaching out for a catch? Volleyball player spiking? Tennis?

    Anyone with no axe to grind can see that, or perhaps they’re simply obtuse.

  26. exinsidetrader says: Jun 30, 2017 4:01 PM

    Gronk read “The Art of the Deal.” He created a negotiable asset (his Nike-similar logo) out of nothing and will use it to trade for something of value like money to do more Nike commercials.

    Gronk smash!

  27. bleedingfacemask says: Jun 30, 2017 4:01 PM

    “My client has created one of the most recognizable brands in sports today”

    Compared to His Airness, that’s a really easy “no”

  28. screwmemean says: Jun 30, 2017 4:08 PM

    As a trademark attorney, there is a problem with the two logos. Although not identical, they do create the same commercial impression and could result in likelihood of confusion. Nike’s mark is considered a famous brand and entitled to max protection. Note, Nike has only sued in the Trademark Office to stop registration of Gronk’s mark. If they want him to stop using the mark, they will need to file a lawsuit in federal court. This is an easy case for Nike.

  29. bobthebillsfan says: Jun 30, 2017 4:09 PM

    The logos are very similar and I can’t say that I blame Gronk for copying. He might have to change his, maybe include a shadow with it or change the color.

  30. cosmicconvoy says: Jun 30, 2017 4:12 PM

    Gronk’s spike man isn’t wearing a helmet. That should be fix number one.

  31. azkurgan says: Jun 30, 2017 4:25 PM

    I thought it was supposed to be a silhouette of a guy limping off the field with a broken arm. Again. Or was it a drunken tool dancing on a table doing the electric slide? Either way, this is a “brand” has as much value as the Yugo. He should have hired LaVar Ball…

  32. dsigrey says: Jun 30, 2017 4:42 PM

    All he needs to do is put an 87 on the chest of his silhouette. Maybe close the stance a little. As is now they are mirror images of each other. Nike wins…

  33. ftomasic1961 says: Jun 30, 2017 5:12 PM

    im surprise ace bandage dosent sign him up…or some glove company, ‘push off with the best’ etc…

  34. mikeinthevine says: Jun 30, 2017 5:40 PM

    Why doesn’t just use the silhouette of a guy chugging a beer?

  35. MichaelEdits says: Jun 30, 2017 7:58 PM

    It probably will be an amicable resolution rather than a Gronking to remember.

  36. soaringelvis says: Jul 1, 2017 11:08 AM

    Trademark Laws states that if there is a 10% difference between the two trademarks in question, then there is no patent infringement.
    There was a very famous case regarding the Micky Mouse trademark so the other party made their mouse’s ears bigger by 10% and avoided litigation.

  37. hugeheavywoman says: Jul 2, 2017 2:12 AM

    Trademark Laws states that if there is a 10% difference between the two trademarks in question, then there is no patent infringement.
    There was a very famous case regarding the Micky Mouse trademark so the other party made their mouse’s ears bigger by 10% and avoided litigation.
    __________________________________
    There is no such 10% law and trademarks and patents are two entirely different aspects of intellectual property law. Dude, go to law school. You are an embarrasment!

  38. finfansince68 says: Jul 2, 2017 1:40 PM

    Great player when healthy but dumb as a” box of rocks” otherwise -we already knew he didn’t have the brains to dream up anything “original” and said it looked like a variation of Jordan’s logo when I first saw it.
    Of course Nike has the money to fight this – and Gronk is dumb enough to take them on – JUST to get the headlines.
    Gronk SMASH! lol

  39. iamapatsfan says: Jul 3, 2017 8:54 PM

    Its simple business for Nike. They know Gronk is a goldmine for clothing with a logo, so they are hoping to get a percentage from them. And they also know they have the money and lawyer power to fight it out in court if need be. Either drown it in litigation or make sure you pays your dues.

    This is totally not the mafia, though. It’s legitimate business.

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