Okemos-based Narrow & Wide Inc., a running and athletic apparel retailer that operates as New Balance-Detroit, has sued Detroit-based RunDetroit LLC over use of the name “Run Detroit.” In the lawsuit, New Balance-Detroit claims trademark infringement, false advertising, unfair competition and cybersquatting on the www.run-detroit.com web domain. New Balance-Detroit claims it has rights to the name and says it has been using it going back to at least 2008.
Narrow & Wide filed its initial application with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office to register “Run Detroit” as a trademark in January 2014. The original application listed the first use of “Run Detroit” as October 2012. In April 2015, changes were made to the application to reflect October 2008 as the first use date.
RunDetroit LLC was organized with the state in 2012 and opened its Midtown location in 2013. RunDetroit co-owner said he and his partner did extensive searches on “Run Detroit,” and at no point in mid-2012 did they find a link between the words “Run Detroit” and New Balance-Detroit, Narrow & Wide or its other company, Playmakers, which runs a store in Okemos. RunDetroit believes Narrow & Wide is filing suit to capitalize off its success- the company is projected to break $500,000 in sales this year alone.
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