Here’s an interesting little nugget of news. Apparently there’s a trademark dispute going on over the letter “X”. You’ve got to be stoked if you’re a lawyer in this country! True to our nation’s litigious nature, ESPN Inc. has sued Quiksilver Inc. on claims that it violated the cable channel’s X-Games franchise.
ESPN Spokesperson Katie Moses Swope offered this statement: “We have filed a trademark infringement action in Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York against Quiksilver for their use of a mark confusingly similar to our famous stylized X mark, which has become synonymous with action sports and ESPN’s X Games. We value our intellectual property rights and intend to take the appropriate steps to protect those rights around the world. We tried unsuccessfully to resolve this matter before taking this next step and are confident that we will prevail.”
The suit alleges: “Despite protests by ESPN, Quiksilver has since willfully expanded the use of the infringing mark, and Quiksilver’s apparel and accessories are now replete with the infringing mark.”
Quiksilver Spokesperson Joshua Katz says that the company believes the claims by ESPN lack any merit and are completely unfounded. “ESPN contacted Quiksilver only one time in the fall of 2007,” says Katz. “ESPN never responded to Quiksilver's attempts to discuss these issues. Quiksilver is very surprised by this litigation, particularly given Quiksilver and DC Shoes' historical support of ESPN and the X-Games. Although we expect an amicable resolution, Quiksilver will vigorously defend its trademarks, and it has shown a history of success in this area as evidenced by its recent victory in a Roxy trademark case.”