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.