October 2019. Now that’s what you call a real ‘clash’ of the trademarks: the long-established English punk band The Clash (est. 1979) has attacked sporting goods company Wilson for selling a tennis racket called Clash.


On 20 September, the band filed a complaint with the District Court in California, claiming trademark infringement. It would seem they own a US registration to the trademark The Clash, which they filed in 2008 for DVDs, clothing and concerts.


$3 million

According to the band, theirs is one of the ‘most iconic names in the music industry’. Wilson’s use of the trademark Clash could consequently lead to confusion among consumers, claim the musicians, who are pressing for $3 million in damages.

New ‘The Clash’ trademark registered in August 2019 for tennis shoes, etc.

New trademark

To strengthen their case, the band applied for an extra trademark registration for The Clash in August 2019, this time for tennis shoes, claiming they’d been marketing sneakers and tennis shoes under the name since 2010.

Pension supplement?

It looks as though the veteran punkers – who these days probably have trouble even filling a community centre – are looking for ways to supplement their pensions. In particular, such a recent registration of the trademark The Clash for tennis shoes is a bit suspect. But let’s see what they come up with. If it turns out they really have been selling tennis shoes under the trademark The Clash in recent years, they may well have a case. That said, seeing is believing.


Bas Kist