Lamar Jackson sues Amazon over unlicensed apparel sold by third parties

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The digital age has spawned a wild-west mentality when it comes to the creation of T-shirts and other items that blatantly infringe on copyrights, trademarks, and/or names and likenesses of athletes and celebrities. One athlete is fighting back.

Via the Baltimore Sun, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has sued Amazon for allowing third-parties to sell apparel bearing his likeness and catch phrases on the Amazon platform.

The federal action seeks an injunction and compensatory damages for the sale of items that include phrases like “Action Jackson” (apparently not a reference to a 1988 Carl Weathers film) and “not bad for a running back.” Jackson argues that his own company sells similar products, and that the unauthorized items sold through Amazon create confusion.

More athletes need to do the same thing, and it’s amazing that they don’t. Many websites profit from items that they should not be selling without a license or some other arrangement from athletes who are clearly identified by name, likeness, number, or both.

61 responses to “Lamar Jackson sues Amazon over unlicensed apparel sold by third parties

  1. Good for him. Amazon needs to be held accountable. Hopefully this will encourage more to do the same.

  2. In the grand tradition of RGMe and (S)cam Newton, it’s all about their (ahem) brand. Over/under for Lamar washing out of the NFL – 5 years.

  3. What catch phrases is he known for? I know he’s known as the guy who can’t throw it in the postseason.

  4. Just when I thought he couldn’t be any cooler… Can’t wait for him to light it up again next year with an improved defense. Not to mention a group of receivers who will step up Boykin & Hollywood.

  5. Titans 28 Ravens 12

    Huh. It’s like the R*vens were cheating scumbags with Bluetooth Guy all along.

  6. I in Jackson’s corner here – but his timing couldn’t be worse.

    Seems like “optics” was the word of the day for a while concerning NFL moves in the world of COVID.

    Dare I say – the “optics” of a guy that signed for 10 million (which is more than the average family makes in a lifetime of work) out of college and stands to make much, much more in the coming years – well, the “optics” here aren’t good.

    In the end, it’s a millionaire suing a billionaire – and that won’t play well in the already ridiculously long unemployment lines that are just going to get longer, or in the grocery stores that are getting emptier, or in the hospitals that are getting fuller.

  7. Get’m Jackson!

    No one likes counterfeiting.

    Do these items also have the NFL logo? Might want to get their army of lawyers involved.

  8. As a Ravens fan, i do admit i need to see more from him i wouldn’t call him a bust he already won the mvp,but i am hoping he improves a lot more in certain area’s since there is a years worth of tape on him. However i will admit, games with bad weather he plays like complete trash which is a bit worrisome in the AFC North. Also SF/Buf/Tenn put the blueprint out on how to stop his run game, If other teams have athletic enough people they can do it too, it seemed to work in those games cause ironically the weather was bad, but if the weather is nice he probably could beat those Ds with his arm. But like i said i just need to see more. This season will be the yr1 to yr2 jump.

    xlivsaints says:
    March 26, 2020 at 1:43 pm
    And next season, he will become a bu$t. Just watch!

  9. Apollo Creed would have dealt with this fool, if he hadn’t been savagely murdered in a charity boxing match vs He-Man.

  10. Reminds me of playing NBA basketball ‘back in the day’ on my PS1 and the Bulls didn’t have Michael Jordan on the team, Rather a shaved head, 6’6 shooting guard with ‘99 ratings’ on the roster.

  11. When I hear the phrase “Action Jackson”, Lamar Jackson doesn’t come to mind.

    “Mike and Dave need wedding dates”, doesn’t make be think of Mike Singletary (Mike Ditka) or david Harris.

  12. Everyone always wants to count everyone else’s money. Lot of people on here accusing Jackson of greed, but companies are illegally making money off of his name and his body of work. I can understand why he wouldn’t want that.

  13. “What catch phrases is he known for? I know he’s known as the guy who can’t throw it in the postseason.”

    Lamar had 365 yards passing against the titans. And probably another 150 yards that were dropped by receivers. Oh and he also ran for 143 yards that game. 508 total yards with like 8 drops.

  14. Might also throw in Facebook and Instagram – they constantly advertise foreign companies that blatantly sell illegal jerseys…. or am I racist?

  15. Needs to be TM for “catch phrases” as well as any “likenesses”. Unless they are using #8 in a Baltimore Ravens uniform – then it would be the Ravens that could sue. Jackson’s likeness are not him. Would imagine Amazon settles though

  16. I quickly looked on Amazon (looking forward to purchasing some gear) THOSE FOOLS are still charging $40 for t-shirt.. who is buying this crap?

  17. If in an unauthorized NFL, Baltimore Ravens uniform, Or using any other (™️) Trademarked Likeness, phrase or item, I can see an issue. If not; he will lose. That’s what happens to public figures. I’m sure President Trump would love to control this sort of thing, too. It just doesn’t happen.

    File for trade mark on the phrases and then come back to the courts. Assuming he already tried to resolve This issue with Amazon.

  18. So… Imma jus gonna be charitable and say Jackson doan know who Amazon is… yet.

  19. Who would want to sell Lame material?

    Lame still needs to decide if he’s a running back or a QB – he can’t win doing both. I think he has bigger issues than to worry about fools trying to profit off his fraud.

  20. “Action Jackson” ?? We called a guy named Jackson that in high school 40 years ago

  21. Unless he has a patent application for “Not bad for a running back”, he has no case. Even though he made it popular this past season he doesn’t own the phrase.

  22. I went on Amazon and didn’t see the “action Jackson” shirt but did find the “not bad for a running back” T-Shirts. It has the Ravens logo. It has his likeness in a Baltimore uniform, #8 dropping back with a football.

    Most important: it has what appears to be his signature on the shirt.

    I’m on his side on this specific shirt. The NFL, the Ravens and he, should be compensated as normally is done.

  23. Sorry bro but if you don’t hold the trademark for those phrases (which you don’t) it’s open season

  24. “Wouldn’t Section 230 of the CDA protect Amazon? I’m not a lawyer but it would seem to me that would protect them.”

    Yes, it’s a stupid lawsuit. Unless he submitted claimed to Amazon and they ignored them then he has zero case and he’ll be lucky Amazon doesn’t go after him for fees.

    All over what likely amounts to few thousand dollars from sales from the unlicensed sellers.

  25. Sure, “Action Jackson” itself isn’t new or Lamar Jackson’s, but these shirts that were being sold had “Action Jackson” with purple lettering and a football with the number 8 in the middle. The combination of those words/coloring/football/#8 is highly, highly suggestive. Come on, people.

  26. If they were selling knockoff jerseys or shirts with his picture on it then he’d have a good case, but general phrases like action Jackson? He doesn’t own the English language unless he trademarks those specific phrases. That’s why Tom Brady trademarks every phrase that he can.

  27. Most over rated QB currently in the League. The guy is an idiot and would never want him as a QB on my team.

  28. I am all down for knocking Amazon down a peg.

    But he is only hurting the guy using Amazon to sell stuff made in the garage.

    So ya have to get back out in the streets to sell your garb now bro

  29. Hey Carl weathers. Sue jackson for trying to stake claim on your work..

  30. Amazon needs to be accountable for the people and businesses they allow on their site. In case Amazon is responsible, then Amazon can deal with the people/businesses that are ripping people off themselves.

  31. When this guy turns into Vince Young -soon- the merchandise will be shipped to 3rd world countries.

  32. It is not up to Amazon to police counterfeits. It is up to Jackson, and his companies to police, and when they find counterfeits, they need to report it to Amazon. If then, Amazon does not do anything, THEN they can be held accountable.

    This is how this works for eBay too, and how they handle it.

  33. blowncallssuck says:
    March 26, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    I am all down for knocking Amazon down a peg.
    Sure. I long for the days driving around the mall looking for a parking spot.

  34. Counterfeit stuff? Yeah, I see that being a problem. But stuff with catch phrases? Meh, pound sand. This is as bad as the “Fitzmagic” debacle.

    If I was Amazon I would remove any listing in regards to Lamar (legit and otherwise) AND anything to do with the Ravens also. Lets see who has the last laugh then. What’s Lamar going to do when Bisciotti is blaming his star runningback for why his teams merchandise isn’t allowed on the world’s largest marketplace.

  35. I can’t believe how ridiculous people are. His likeness is not difficult to recognize. He should be paid just like anyone else would expect if they built up a brand and had people stealing it. This isn’t about sports. This is about ethics, fairness, and business. As much as I hate the Patriots and TB in the sporting world, I’d feel the same way if this was about TB. If you’re hating on this young man, you’re a loser. Not in week 6, not in the playoffs, but in life.

  36. The lawsuit has nothing to do with his future prospects or performance. That is irrelevant. It is about distributing unauthorized and or unlicensed merchandise bearing his image. It could be fake Nikes or Pravda purses also. The suit is about third party web distributors being held harmless for offering and shipping these products when they knew or should have known they were unlicensed, unauthorized, or in violation of Trademark laws.

    It’s actually an important lawsuit and the results could have a real impact on counterfeit goods distribution.

  37. He should win handily, and it’s nice to see Amazon held accountable for something for a change, but he really should not be able to trademark “Action Jackson” even if it’s his version of it. He did not come up with that, he just applied it to himself (and it was likely a media member who first applied the label to him). If the producers of the Carl Dillon movie were so inclined, I’m sure Jackson would be back in court for that.

    The running back comment is a pretty good one to build a brand around from his perspective, and he should have little trouble marketing that. I’m glad that he’ll take ownership of that for himself. Hopefully for Jackson he sent Amazon a cease and desist first that was ignored-should make this a lot smoother.

  38. Lamar needs to focus on football not profiting off his image. So far he is 0-2 in the playoffs.

  39. Wal-Mart, ebay etc are just as guilty. Amazon has third party sellers like they do. Wal-Mart sells TONS of knock off products. I am a Eagles fan and it’s this way for any team. So many fake bootleg products sold on there through other sellers.

  40. I can’t believe Ravens fans are still pointing to Lamar’s 508 yards of total offense against the Titans to justify how great he is and how well he played?

    Huh? Are you people blind?

    He had 3 turnovers. His QBR was 28.7. He missed a million open receivers and could not convert a single throw when he needed to. He was sacked 4 times. He was stuffed on multiple critical 4th down runs.

    He’s 0-2 in playoffs when the games actually matter, and worse, he’s been terrible in those games.

    I like Lamar. But let’s be realistic and honest for once: he was absolutely awful in that playoff game against the Titans. There is nothing to debate here.

  41. Wish Jackson well but he has a long road ahead of him and there are easier ways to deal with this issue. My law firm advises a number of big brands on how to deal with knock-offs.

    As others have mentioned, AMZN is going to have a bunch of protection due to Section 230, DMCA and common law defenses. Think about it – if every online retailer was held liable for fraudulent third party sellers, the entire e-commerce community would collapse. Thus the reason storefronts like AMZN have robust protection – both statutory and common law.

    Generally speaking, the best way to handle IMHO is to sue the knock-off company. Most if not all won’t show up to their court date or bother responding to the complaint, and you’ll get a default judgment.. If you don’t know who the company is (e.g., overseas), sue a John Doe, and again, they won’t show up. Have the judge issue an order to take it down, and AMZN will take it down (AMZN typically won’t move unless it receives a court order). Costs a few thousand bucks (if that), instead of the huge legal expense one would take trying to go after the behemoth of AMZN.

    Maybe this gets some traction because Jackson is a “name”. But AMZN can pretty much outspend anyone and they aren’t going to allow precedent to get on the books that holds them liable for third party bad actors. Curious which firm Lamar is using, as a sophisticated tech firm that handles these types of issues on a regular basis (and is local in Seattle and understands how AMZN works internally) could deal with this at a fraction of a cost than full blown litigation. Just hope Jackson isn’t being taken advantage of by greedy lawyers here…

    (not providing legal advice – just my opinion based on limited facts)

  42. Gotta be the taxes included.
    I cannot fathom it’d be because of his actual jersey being sold…total patriot of America.

  43. Josh Allen is donating money to local causes to fight whatever effects there are from caronavirus.
    This guys fighting a worthless fight about his likeness,

    2 completely different levels of maturity right there folks.

  44. Obviously, and of course Amazon should not be allowing unlicensed stuff to be sold under their banner. They are a big enough company to have full-time staff to review this kind of thing. Would they allow a 3rd party to sell unlicensed Amazon logo t-shirts?

    But then Amazon and Ebay are supposed to be policing price gouging during this pandemic and neither one is actually doing much about it.

    And Jackson isn’t greedy – that very notion is idiotic. Why would he allow unlicensed people to earn money with his likeness? That’s ridiculous.

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