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Nike Reportedly Says Max Verstappen’s ‘Max 1’ Clothing Line Could Be Confused With Air Max Franchise

Nike is reportedly aiming to block the launch of a new clothing line, saying its name could cause confusion with its own products.

According to a report in Dutch newspaper De Limburger from last week, Nike opposed a potential trademark filing from Formula 1 racing champion Max Verstappen for his “Max 1” clothing line. The obstacle came after Verstappen tried to file a trademark for the line with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP), the trademark authority in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, and Nike pointed out the wording could lead customers to confuse it with Nike’s Air Max shoe franchise.

A report from BOIP looking into the matter concluded that “Max 1” and “Air Max” are indeed too similar and could potentially cause consumer confusion, Sports Illustrated reported.

FN has reached out to BOIP and Nike for a comment.

Nike’s Air Max line is one of the company’s most popular franchises. The Nike Air Max 1 launched on March 26, 1987. Since 2014, Nike has celebrated Air Max Day every year, where it celebrates the launch of the iconic shoe, often with some new releases.

When it comes to protecting its intellectual property and product design, Nike is known for taking an offensive approach. The brand in January sued Lululemon and claimed that some of the athleisure brand’s new sneakers infringed on its patents. Nike has also previously filed similar patent infringement lawsuits against Puma and Adidas, also claiming that these brands infringed on Nike’s Flyknit technology.

In January of of 2022, Nike asked for more time to filed an opposition to a trademark with the phrase “Just Succ It,” which was filed by small succulent business owner. The business owner told FN she received a cease and desist from Nike on Jan. 25 2022, which requested that she withdraw the application for “Just Succ it.” According to a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (UPSTO), the trademark for this phrase was abandoned in March of 2022.