360: Trademark Litigation Full Circle

by Tamera H. BennettSeptember 6, 2007

Cleat maker, Cleated Technologies, Inc. d/b/a Tanel 360 filed suit against the makers of Reebok, Adidas, Nike and New Balance athletic shoes for trademark infringement of Tanel's registered trademark 360 in international class 25 for footwear.

Tanel first used the mark in interstate commerce on May 6, 1986 and received a federal trademark registration on April 12, 1988. Tanel uses the mark on athletic cleats. The pleading does not go into detail on the source of the trademark, but a column by Steve Adams states:

Tanel’s 360 is named after the circular cleat pattern used on the company’s shoes, which are designed to reduce the risk of injury by allowing players to pivot when on the balls of their feet. According to its Web site, the Hopkins, Minn.-based company was founded by Mike Tanel, a former defensive end for the Green Bay Packers who suffered a severe injury in college while playing in traditional cleats.

The pleadings referenced the following "infringing" uses of the mark 360: Nike's AirMax 360, Reebok's DMX 360, Adidas Tour 360, and New Balance's 360 Oxford.

Interestingly enough, there is no reference to New Balance's Federally Registered trademark of 360 Fit w/design for footwear (Serial number 76502359) which registered on July 11, 2006.