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Under Armour wins $300,000 ruling against Chinese firm

Sports clothing firm Under Armour has won $300,000 in damages from Chinese company Uncle Martian in a trademark infringement suit.

According to a statement from Under Armour's legal counsel Finnegan and Chinese collaborator Chang Tsi, the lawsuit was filed in 2016 after Uncle Martian launched athletic footwear and clothing that "blatantly infringing Under Armour's famous UA logo and other intellectual property."

The ruling - which is being appealed - also orders Uncle Martian to permanently stop using the contested trademarks, destroy all infringing products and publish a statement to "eliminate the adverse effect of Uncle Martian’s infringement."

Uncle Armour won a preliminary injection against Uncle Martian last November, ahead of the planned commercial launch of the Chinese company's product range, which according to Finnegan "remain a rarity in trademark cases before the Chinese courts."

Finnegan and Chang Tsi said there "encouraged by the Higher Court's decision because it, along with other recent sports industry cases, signal an increased willingness by China's courts to send an appropriately strong message to copy-cats and infringers."

It's a boost to Under Armour's ambitions in China, which it sees as a major growth market at time when its business has been affected by wider losses that have prompted a restructuring and job cuts.

The US company reported revenues of $1.09bn in the second quarter of the year, up 9% and slightly ahead of expectations, although it swung to a net loss of $12m. Asia-Pacific sales however increased 89 per cent, driven by strength in China, Taiwan and Korea where - according to chief financial officer Dave Bergman - "we continued to see our brand resonate with consumers."

"China continues to be a bit of a juggernaut for us," said chief executive Kevin Plank during the company's second-quarter results call. The company now has over 550 'teammates' (sales personnel) in the country.


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