God 2019s Era v. New Era Cap Company, Inc. (18-cv-11065).

  • April 7, 2020

God 2019s Era brought claims of false designation of origin and unfair competition under the Lanham Act as well as common law trademark infringement and unfair competition in connection with New Era 2019s 2016 collaboration with Jerry Lorenzo, owner of fashion brand Fear of God that resulted in a hat with a New Era design directly above the FEAR OF GOD mark. God 2019s Era, which formed in 2015, sought in October 2016 to register GOD 2019S ERA as a trademark, which New Era opposed. New Era first used the combined mark in commerce at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in July 2017. God 2019s Era was only able to produce receipts totaling $235 in sales of t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts prior to that time, and none in interstate commerce. Judge Talwani granted New Era 2019s motion for summary judgment on the trademark claims, finding that the God 2019s Era mark was not entitled to common law trademark protection outside of the Boston area as of mid-2017. All of God 2019s Era 2019s sales prior to then had been made in person by God 2019s Era 2019s founder and sole employee to people in the greater Boston area. Any common law rights that had arisen as a result of these sales would not extend to Miami, the site of the All-Star Game and the sales of New Era 2019s products. Judge Talwani specifically noted that the website that God 2019s Era ran did not establish trademark rights because as of mid-2017 no actual sales had been made through the website. As no common law trademark rights were established, the false designation of origin and unfair competition claims likewise failed.

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