Popular sports drink Gatorade has filed a lawsuit against the makers of a bodybuilding supplement named “Haterade,” accusing of infringing its marks and “harmfully associating” the sports drink with the “colloquial, derogatory term “hater.”
Stokely-Van Camp Inc. which owns the trademark for Gatorade accuses Active Sports Distribution and DuraCap Labs LLC for ignoring multiple attempts to resolve the matter. Hence, the lawsuit was filed on September 17th in federal court in Illinois.
The complaint alleges that the workout supplement company, which makes supplements under the name “Haterade,” dilutes the Gatorade marks by blurring and by tarnishment, by making customers think of a “fictional or metaphorical beverage consumed by hateful, jealous or angry people.”
It will be an interesting case to follow. In most instances, the claim that a mark tarnishes another relates to issues where the trademark owners’ reputation is hindered. This usually involves a use of a mark which links it to products that are of poor quality or portrayed as distasteful. The best example of this is taking a trademark name and using it for some form of adult content.
On the other hand, a claim under blurring occurs when the third party’s use of the trademark decreases the likelihood that the mark will serve as a unique identifier of the owner’s product and hinder the selling power of the owner’s mark.
In either case, the only relief that the plaintiff may make is for injunctive relief In this case that would mean that the makers of Haterade must cease selling its product.