Rob Gronkowski recently unveiled a new personal logo, which features a black silhouette of the tight end spiking a football.
Well according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Nike thinks the branding looks too much like the black silhouette of another prominent athlete.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 30, 2017
Yep, ESPN has reportedly filed a formal opposition with the USPTO Trial & Appeal Board claiming Gronk’s logo looks too much like the Jordan Brand’s famous “Jumpman.” One bizarre aspect of this dispute is that Gronk is actually a Nike endorser, having appeared in at least one prominent Nike ad and worn the company’s sneakers for most of his career. Given that relationship, you’d think the sides could have resolved this logo dispute without an official complaint.
Gronk, who filed a trademark on the logo in April, now has according to August 5 to respond to the opposition, per ESPN.
“My client has created one of the most recognizable brands in sports today,” said attorney Troy Carnrite, a partner with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, which represents the Gronkowski family. “We are very proud of this brand and are optimistic that we will resolve this with Nike amicably.”
As for whether Gronk’s logo actually looks like the Jumpman… well, we can see both sides. On one hand, the silhouette in question clearly shows a guy spiking a ball, and no one is actually going to confuse it for the iconic Jordan logo. On the other hand, did Gronk really have to use a black silhouette with his legs spread and his arms splayed like that? He did seem to be asking for trouble.
We’ll see whether or not Gronk rolls over for the shoe sponsor that pays him millions of dollars.