FAZE Apparel, a clothing company based in San Francisco, is suing popular esports organization FaZe Clan for alleged trademark infringement due to the latter’s use of the word “faze” on its apparel.
In 2013, FaZe Clan applied for trademarks in order to sell team-affiliated clothing. But the applications were denied due to the organization’s proposed trademarks being deemed “confusingly similar” to FAZE Apparel’s existing trademarks.
Despite not being able to acquire the trademarks, FaZe Clan began selling apparel on its website and esports clothing company Electronic Gamers’ League’s website. FAZE Apparel then sent a cease-and-desist letter to EGL in July 2014, which EGL responded to by removing FaZe’s products from its site. FaZe also changed its own web address and removed apparel that had the words “faze” or “faze clan” on them.
FaZe then began selling apparel in 2015 similar to what got them in trouble the first time, and FAZE Apparel once again sent the esports organization a cease-and-desist letter. FaZe Clan complied again, removing merchandise that featured the team’s name. The two parties subsequently began negotiations in which FaZe Clan offered to license FAZE Apparel’s trademarks, but FAZE Apparel denied the offer.
In late 2017, FaZe Clan again began selling apparel with the team name featured, leading FAZE Apparel to file this lawsuit. On May 22, district judge R. Gary Klausner granted FAZE Apparel’s motion for a preliminary injunction, which will prohibit FaZe Clan from selling any apparel that bears the word “faze” without also featuring the word “clan” in a prominent manner until the two sides can reach an agreement.
FAZE Apparel is “seeking treble damages, attorney fees, and enhanced statutory counterfeiting damages up to $2 million per counterfeit mark,” according to an ESPN report. If the apparel company wins this case, it’ll likely be a major blow to the popular esports organization and its future apparel designs.