Knobbe Martens Guides lululemon to Complete Victory in Trademark Infringement Case
Irvine, Calif. August 10, 2022 – A team from Knobbe Martens, one of the nation’s leading intellectual property law firms, secured a complete victory on behalf of client lululemon when the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling that lululemon’s Align yoga pants did not infringe an Aliign Activation Wear LLC registered trademark.
lululemon is one of the world’s leading apparel and athleisure companies and had previously used the mark Align for yoga mats, later expanding the use of Align to yoga apparel. The company was sued in April 2020 for trademark infringement by Aliign Activation Wear, which sought damages, including disgorgement of lululemon’s profits on its sales of lululemon’s blockbuster Align apparel.
In July 2021, the Knobbe team secured a full defense win on summary judgment when District Judge Steven Wilson found no likelihood of forward confusion, reverse confusion or initial interest confusion between the plaintiff’s Aliign trademark and lululemon’s Align products. Today’s decision by the Ninth Circuit, following a de novo review of the case, affirmed the Knobbe team’s summary judgment victory.
Commenting on the success, Knobbe partner Ali Razai said, “Although likelihood of confusion is a very factually intensive inquiry, we were able to direct the district court and the Ninth Circuit to factors that made it improbable that a consumer would be confused between lululemon's blockbuster Align apparel and the plaintiff's Aliign registered trademark for yoga apparel. Shortly before trial, the district court granted summary judgment that there was no likelihood of reverse confusion, forward confusion or initial interest confusion. Although the Ninth Circuit conducted a de novo review, it agreed with the district court's conclusions and affirmed the judgment in lululemon's favor."
A copy of the Ninth Circuit decision may be found here.
In addition to Mr. Razai, the Knobbe team involved in securing this success included Craig Summers, Paul Stewart, Susan Natland, Sean Murray, Brandon Smith, and Hans Mayer.
About Knobbe Martens
Knobbe Martens is a highly respected intellectual property law firm, offering legal services in all aspects of intellectual property and technology law. The firm’s litigation group handles cases throughout the U.S. and coordinates strategy for disputes worldwide. Founded in California in 1962, the firm has about 300 lawyers and scientists based in offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. Knobbe Martens serves a diverse international client base, from multinational corporations to emerging businesses of all stages. More information about the firm can be found at www.knobbe.com.