NEW YORK Under Armour (UA) wants to protect its "I will" catchphrase.
The athletic clothing maker, based in Baltimore, has filed a trademark infringement suit against Nike (NKE), claiming its rival has inappropriately used variations of the phrase in its marketing.
Under Armour says that since late last year, Nike, based in Portland, Ore., has launched an advertising campaign using phrases like "I will protect my home court," and "I will finish what I started."
Under Amour says such use of "I will" is "likely to cause confusion, mistake, and deception."
"The I WILL trademark is one of the cornerstone symbols of our company and its products and services, and has been for many years," said the company in an email response to CBS MoneyWatch.
"We prefer to battle our competitors in the marketplace and on the field of play with our game-changing innovative products, but we will defend ourselves whenever necessary to protect what we've worked so hard to build. We will not allow a competitor to blatantly infringe upon our established trademark rights."
Nike spokeswoman Mary Remuzzi declined to comment at this time, saying the company just learned of the lawsuit.
According to the documents, Under Armour is requesting a permanent injunction to bar Nike from using the "I will" phrase. It is also wants Nike to destroy all products, packaging and signs that use the tagline. It also wants Nike to pay Under Armour all profits arising from the use of the phrase, and is seeking to recoup damages.
The suit was filed Thursday in federal court in Baltimore.