Rawlings Files Gold Glove Trademark Lawsuit against Wilson Sporting Goods

Rawlings Files Gold Glove Trademark Lawsuit against Wilson Sporting Goods

Yesterday, Rawlings, a manufacturer of baseball gloves, filed a lawsuit accusing Wilson Sporting Goods of infringing Rawlings' Gold Glove mark. Created in 1957, the Gold Glove Award, which honors outstanding defense at the professional level, consists of a gold glove attached to a solid base. In addition to the award, Gold Glove winners receive a functional glove that includes metallic gold indicia on the glove itself.

Rawlings' claim is based on Wilson's manufacture and promotion of a gold-colored glove. According to the complaint:

[Wilson is] conducting a promotion for the 2012 baseball season in which Brandon Phillips (a professional Major League Baseball (MLB) player with the Cincinnati Reds) is using a baseball glove with metallic gold-colored webbing, stitching and lettering that was manufactured by Wilson ....

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... Defendant has introduced and marketed products in interstate commerce using designations and representations that are confusingly similar to the registered Gold Glove Marks.

Rawlings' functional version of the Gold Glove is "coveted" as a "mark of achievement that is visible" to MLB fans. Rawlings describes the Gold Glove Award as "one of the most recognized and coveted awards in professional baseball." It also describes the award as a "key aspect of ... [its] promotion and marketing for its sports equipment, particularly its baseball gloves." 

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