FAZE Apparel, a clothing company based in San Francisco, is suing North American esports organisation FaZe Clan over an alleged trademark infringement on apparel.
The grounds of the infringement is the use of the word “Faze” that can be seen throughout FaZe Clan’s range of clothing, according to ESPN.
On May 22nd, district judge R. Gary Klauser granted a preliminary injunction on FaZe Clan that prevents the organisation selling any merchandise that displays the word “Faze” without “Clan” following in close proximity on the item of clothing – this stands until the dispute is solved.
The lawsuit is entirely based on the trademark for “Faze”, which was filed by FAZE Apparel in March 2013 and approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in June 2014. The report states that the clothing company is aiming to receive treble damages, attorney fees, and enhanced statutory counterfeiting damages that could amount up to $2,000,000 (£1,498,520) per counterfeit mark.
FaZe Clan registered for trademarks of “FaZe” and “FaZe Clan Sniping With” for use on clothing. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refused both attempts due to the chance of them being misconstrued with FAZE apparel’s trademark. The organisation’s registration for trademarking “FaZe Clan” for videos, video games, and apparel, was finally approved in September 2015.
The report from ESPN later cites that FaZe Clan attempted to work a licensing deal out with FAZE Apparel in February last year, but an agreement was never reached.
Esports Insider says: This is the second high-profile story revolving around such legal processes in the esports industry in just a week – following PUBG Corp.’s attempt to sue Fortnite – but this one seems a tad more realistic. If trademarks are in place but FaZe Clan has tried to work around them, then we’re not surprised that this has come out of it.