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 ....
... 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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