The Heisman Trophy Trust Wins Preliminary Injunction

January 9, 2009

Cleary Gottlieb won a preliminary injunction for its client The Heisman Trophy Trust against the use of Heisman trademarks by Smack Apparel Company. Smack Apparel was selling t-shirts featuring the Heisman name and logo and references to contenders to win the Heisman Trophy® award.

Cleary Gottlieb sued Smack Apparel in New York federal court for trademark infringement and dilution and breach of contract. The suit was based in part on a prior settlement between the parties, in which Smack Apparel agreed to stop all unauthorized uses of the Heisman trademarks.  On January 9, Manhattan U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero granted a preliminary injunction against Smack Apparel’s use of the Heisman trademarks, finding that the Trust is likely to succeed on both the breach of contract and trademark claims.