Champion owner Hanes Brands Inc. is taking Keds LLC to court over the “Champion” trademark.
In a complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, Hanes claims that the Champion brand has shared the “Champion” trademark with Keds in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada under a decades-old licensing agreement. Outside of those markets, the companies were to seek their own trademarks under the terms of the agreement. Hanes adds that the two parties agreed to an amendment allowing for a renegotiation of the deal in 2018, after Keds began marketing its Champion shoes in countries where Hanes had trademark priority. Hanes now contends that Keds has not lived up to the terms of the amendment.
“Keds has failed to engage in the promised renegotiation of the license agreement,” Hanes wrote in court documents. “Indeed, Keds has flatly refused to renegotiate, all the while continuing its improper ‘historic uses’ of the Champion trademark around the world and engaging in additional, unauthorized uses of that mark.”