Under Armour sues Hotsuit for 'copycat' logo... but are they really that similar?

Under Armour has accused fellow sportswear company, Hotsuit, of trademark infringement. According to Under Armour, weight-loss and sauna suit brand Hotsuit is selling too-similar clothing stamped with a logo that's a copycat of the trademark UA design.

The lawsuit claims that the design "has already caused confusion and gives Defendant an unfair boost in the marketplace at the expense of both Under Armour and consumers". Under Armour is seeking a jury trial and an injunction that will order Hotsuit to stop using the logo. 

But is this case justified? Is the logo design really similar enough to cause confusion? Let's have a look. 

(Image credit: Under Armour / Hotsuit)

There's no doubt that the basic shape very similar, but the flowing lines and loop of the UA logo sets a very different tone to the blocky pointed corners of the H. The use of negative space in the H does feel reminiscent of the UA, but inverted – with UA's central block cut out and the middle join of the H filled in. The middle part being such a feature on both is part of what gives such a similar impression. But, it kinda just looks like an H. As you would expect from a brand called Hotsuit. 

Opinions are mixed on the subject, with some pointing out that the context matters:

See more

We do see what he means. The fact that the brands share a space in the apparel arena makes for more confusion than if they were in different sectors, as the picture below demonstrates.

Under Armour

When in context, the designs do look similar, but do you need to squint to see it? (Image credit: Under Armour/Hotsuit)

But others still think think it's a real stretch, commenting that you need to squint from a distance to confuse the two. Others have, amusingly, suggested other brands that Under Armour might want to take on:

See more

And logos that are even more similar to Hotsuit have also been shared. 

See more

The diverse reaction shows just how much grey area there is when dealing with infringement cases. Under Armour, though, is convinced that the design is a real threat to the brand.

“Since 1996, we have worked hard to deliver great product and build Under Armour into the strong, global brand that we are today,” the company asserted in a statement to WJZ. “We have an obligation to enforce our rights against similar marks and prevent any confusion in the marketplace.”

Under armour

An image from the court filing (Image credit: U.S. District Court filings)

We guess we'll wait and see what happens with Under Armour and Hotsuit, but we don't envy the folk having to make the decision. Will it go down in history as one of the many high-profile cases of plagiarism or is it too much of a stretch?

Read more:

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Georgia Coggan

Georgia is lucky enough to be Creative Bloq's Editor. She has been working for Creative Bloq since 2018, starting out as a freelancer writing about all things branding, design, art, tech and creativity – as well as sniffing out genuinely good deals on creative technology. Since becoming Editor, she has been managing the site on a day-to-day basis, helping to shape the diverse content streams CB is known for and leading the team in their own creativity.