Hackney legal head calls for action after Nike victory

Hackney Council has won £300,000 from sportswear giant Nike for copyright infringement after the sportswear giant admitted misusing Hackney’s logo.

Hackney legal head Meic Sullivan-Gould said that the money would be spent on sports and leisure facilities and issued a rallying call to other councils.

Sullivan-Gould declared: “I’m delighted that Hackney’s people have got some recompense for a blatant misuse of its logo. It was a complete mess-up by Nike and I think it’s a strong message for other local authorities to look at their IP rights and make sure they are able to protect them.”

As reported in The Lawyer on June 5, Nike used the London borough’s ‘H’ logo, which appears on the council’s vans and staff uniforms, on the kit for its grass roots football campaign without permission from the council. Hackney’s legal team threatened legal action as a result.

However the dispute has been resolved in an out-of-court settlement agreed between Hackney, represented by Marks & Clerk, and Nike’s European general counsel Colin Graham, represented by Hewitsons.

Partner Gregor Grant, who led the Marks & Clerk team, explained: “We didn’t start court proceedings because fairly early on [Nike] put their hands up and admitted using the logo without permission.”

Grant added that the £300,000 figure was agreed upon based on the number of ‘H’-branded Nike items sold.

Partner Nial Ackerman led the Hewitsons team advising Nike.