Nov 1, 2017
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Lululemon drops Under Armour lawsuit over copied sports bras

Nov 1, 2017

Lululemon has dropped its patent infringement lawsuit against Under Armour where it originally claimed UA copied two of its patented sports bra strap designs and the distinctive look of the strappy Energy Bra.

Lululemon's Energy Bra

Lululemon filed the original lawsuit in July of this year in Delaware federal court. In the complaint, Lululemon alleged the Armour Eclipse Low Impact, Armour Shape Low Impact, UA On the Move and UA Printed Strappy Bra were all copies of the patented Energy Bra.

Lululemon wrote in its complaint that “The design of defendant’s infringing products so resembles the trade dress in appearance and overall commercial impression that the infringing products are likely to cause confusion, mistake and deception as to the source or origin of defendant’s infringing products."

At the time of the complaint, Lululemon made a claim for cash damages asking for "the total profits realized by Under Armour from its infringement."

Nonetheless, last week Lululemon agreed to drop the lawsuit. The terms of the agreement were not released but the companies agreed to have the case dismissed with prejudice, meaning they cannot bring the dispute back into court.

Sports bras are a huge market segment valued to be a $3.5 billion dollar industry in the US. Nike recently made news saying it was going to invest more deeply in its women's business through sports bra product development as well as rolling out pants studios in 5,000 locations. According to Bloomberg, Amazon recently revealed a partnership with a Taiwanese company, Eclat Textile Co., who is a manufacturer for Nike, Lululemon and Under Armour.

Lululemon was arguably a trail blazer in the athleisure trend. It created retail spaces that celebrated sports bras and women's specific shopping for bras and pants. Nevertheless, the decision to drop the lawsuit against Under Armour is a testament to the increasingly competitive sports bra market and how the main athletic companies are fighting for women's business.

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