Hackney Council tears into Nike over logo use

Hackney Council is threatening to sue sportswear giant Nike over an allegation that the company has used its logo without permission.

The logo, which appears on Hackney Council buildings, vans and staff uniforms, has been used on T-shirts, vests, trainers and footballs designed to promote Nike’s grass roots football campaign ahead of the World Cup.

Hackney head of legal and democratic services Meic Sullivan-Gould told The Lawyer: “Nike’s in-house counsel will take a robust view. But we don’t threaten litigation unless we think it’s worth our while.”

Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe is calling for a share of the profits from sales of the kit, which he says the council would invest in local sports development. He demanded the withdrawal of the kit until a settlement had been reached.

A Nike spokesperson said: “Nike has produced a small range of products that celebrate Hackney Marshes as a symbol of all that is great about amateur football. The London Borough of Hackney has raised some issues with Nike concerning a logo that appears on a number of these products. We’re in ongoing discussions with the borough and remain keen to conclude this matter to the satisfaction of both parties.”

Colin Graham, Nike in-house counsel for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is dealing with the complaint. He has yet to appoint outside counsel.