Popular e-sports team sued over trade mark Infringement
The popular e-sports team "FaZe Clan" is currently being sued by the San Francisco clothing company "FAZE Apparel". The case came about after the gaming team had started to sell clothing depicting "FaZe Clan". Previously the FaZe Clan had attempted to register trade marks so they could sell clothing affiliated with the team however because of the similarity to "FAZE Apparel" the applications were denied.
Despite this FaZe clan began to sell clothing on its website and Electronic Gamers' League website. Consequently Electronic Gamers' League were sent a cease and desist letter by FAZE Apparel to which they responded by removing the products from its site. As well as this FaZe Clan also changed its web address and removed such clothing that had the wording of "faze" or "faze clan". You would think that this issue would be settled, but in 2015 FaZe clan began to sell clothing similar to the ones previously and, yet again, they were sent a cease and desist letter by "FAZE Apparel".
The clothing was again removed but negotiations were struck up in which FaZe Clan offered to licence FAZE Apparels trade marks but FAZE Apparel declined the offer. It would appear that FaZe clan didn’t learn their lesson as they did the same thing again in 2017, resulting in FAZE Apparel filing a trade mark infringement lawsuit. On 22 May 2018 the judge granted FAZE Apparel's motion for a preliminary injunction prohibiting FaZe Clan from selling any merchandise that doesn’t include the word "clan" alongside FaZe. This is until the two sides can reach an agreement on the matter.
According the an ESPN report FAZE Apparel is "seeking treble damages, attorney fees and enhanced statutory counterfeiting damages of up to 2 million per counterfeit mark." If the clothing company were to win the case then it would be an incredible blow to the FaZe Clan not only costing them money but restricting the future clothing designs of the FaZe Clan.
Written by Tristan Trezise who is a work experience student from Crofton School