Sports store not happy about private military company’s new name.
Academy Ltd., which operates the Academy Sports + Outdoors retail chain, has sued Academi, formally known as Blackwater, for trademark infringement.
Yes, that Blackwater.
Academy is concerned that Academi’s negative image could tarnish its brand and that there could be consumer confusion. According to the suit (pdf),
Given the corporate history of Defendant and the negative media coverage stemming from its security operatives in Iraq, Academy will suffer irreparable harm by any confusion over a connection, joint venture, or affiliation between Defendant and Academy.
Blackwater changed its name to Xe Services before settling on Academi in December 2011.
My first through was “how can a sports store be confused with a company known for fighting terrorists?”
But it turns out Academi does a bit more than provide security contracting. It sells a number of tools of the trade at Academi.com and AcademiProShop.com.
Academi has also applied for trademarks for goods that could be similar to what Academy offers, such as clothing and firearms.