U.S. News | Jack Nicklaus Sues Maker of Golf Training Technology for Trademark Infringement

Image Credit: © Claudia Paulussen | Dreamstime.com

Golf legend, Jack Nicklaus has filed a lawsuit in the Florida Southern District Court against PowerPro Sports LLC, alleging the use of his trademark to promote their product without permission.

Nicklaus alleges that PowerPro violated his right of publicity under Florida law as well as violated the federal Lanham Act by engaging in false endorsement, trademark infringement, and unfair competition.

According to the lawsuit, Nicklaus reportedly said that they had an agreement with PowerPro which allows the defendant to use videos and photographs of himself to promote Powerchute, a golf training technology which improves golf swing through the use of aerodynamic drag.

Nicklaus reportedly said that the defendant can only use the trademark as long as Jim Sowerwine, the maker of the Powerchute was involved in the business but Sowerwine lost his financial interest in the business sometime between 2011 and 2015.

Nicklaus reportedly said that a cease and desist letter was sent to PowerPro in 2016 requesting that the company stop using the video, photographs, signature and other trademarks.

Following the letter, PowerPro offered to enter into a licensing agreement to resolve any infringement claims but Nicklaus rejected the offer.

Nicklaus is seeking an injunction blocking the use of his likeness and trademarks and payment for damages, attorney fees, and costs.

Tim Yablonowski, the founder of PowerPro reportedly claimed that he and his company did nothing wrong and that his company met with Nicklaus and got permission to use his image in their advertising.

The case is ongoing.     

Nicklaus Companies, LLC v. PowerPro Sports, LLC

Judge:Robin L Rosenberg
Court:Florida Southern District Court
Case #: 9:20-cv-80052
Nature of Suit:Trademark
Cause:Trademark Infringement
Case Filed:Jan 16, 2020
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About Nathaniel Adebayo 623 Articles
Nathaniel is a News Reporting Intern at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch (NLIPW). He has a passion for writing, capacity building and social media marketing. He is a graduate of Federal University of Technology, Minna, where he graduated with BTECHAGRIC. He is a member of Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) and the National Union of Campus Journalist (NUCJ). Nathaniel has served as Editor-in-Chief for a number of magazines and as a contributor to various online repositories. Email: anathaniel@nlipw.com