You may notice that at the beginning of the video, Christie Rampone is wearing what looks to be a U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team uniform. Christie Rampone is featured in such a uniform much more clearly in a few print advertisements, which the United States Soccer Federation is not happy about.
On July 27, 2011, the United States Soccer Federation filed a Complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division and named The FRS Company as the defendant. At issue is whether FRS’ use of the Rampone U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team uniform was impermissible. The U.S. Soccer Federation has a deal with Gatorade, which grants Gatorade the exclusive right, in the sports performance drinks category, to use U.S. Soccer marks. Further, the U.S. Soccer Federation claims that even if Rampone wished to personally contract with The FRS Company to allow it to use her image or likeness while in the uniform, she would have first had to get prior written consent and approval from U.S. Soccer. Apparently, approval was never granted.
Take a look at the advertisements in the Complaint embedded below. The ads start on page 10 of the Complaint. There are claims for trademark infringement, unfair competition, tortious interference with contractual relations, and unjust enrichment. The U.S. Soccer Federation is seeking a permanent injunction prohibiting FRS from using any U.S. Soccer Marks and the National Team uniform or any other confusingly similar marks, damages (including treble and punitive damages), attorneys’ fees, and costs.