The Canadian athleticwear brand has sued Under Armour for patent and trademark infringement, telling a Delaware federal court on Friday that it owns two patents and trade dress protection covering its popular and “innovative” Energy Bra, elements of which its Baltimore-based rival is allegedly using without permission.
Lululemon says there are four Under Armour bras using its patented technology and designs, including the Eclipse Low Impact, Shape Low Impact, On the Move and Printed Strappy Bra, which sell online for between roughly $20 and $35.
The design at issue incorporates a sports bra with two thin shoulder straps that interweave across the back, which Lululemon received a design patent for first in 2014 and then again in 2016.
Given the popularity of the Energy Bra, Lululemon is claiming the strappy trade dress has acquired secondary meaning because it “identifies the origin and source of the Energy Bra by virtue of Lululemon’s exclusive and continuous use of the trade dress,” according to the complaint.
The company went on to argue that Under Armour’s designs are “so similar” to those of Lululemon that they are “likely to cause confusion, mistake and deception” for consumers around which sports bras belong to which brand.
Moreover, Lululemon argues Under Armour’s alleged copying “has been undertaken knowingly, willfully and in bad faith,” and it asked the court to enjoin the sale of the products at issue.
Beyond an injunction, Lululemon is asking the court for unspecified damages and a disgorgement of any profits Under Armour has received with the sale of its allegedly infringing bras.
In response to the lawsuit, an Under Armour spokeswoman simply said: “As a leading brand in the sports performance market [Under Armour] takes the intellectual property rights of others very seriously.”
Both brands have been working in recent years to produce and market performance bras as having superior support and comfort. Under Armour in 2015 released a full line of sports bras including different styles offering high-, low- and midsupport and Lululemon earlier this year lauded its new Enlite bra as a feat of research and technology.
Under Armour and Lululemon, which went public in 2005 and 2007, respectively, have also been experiencing their own growing pains as of late.
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