Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. Inc. filed a lawsuit on July 5 against rival Wilson Sporting Goods Co., alleging that it violated Rawlings’ trademark for the original Gold Glove Award. Rawlings moved to file the lawsuit after Wilson had started using a baseball glove with gold-colored webbing in 2012 promotional materials.

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis, Rawlings is seeking injunctive relief, an accounting for profits, damages, costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees for federal trademark infringement, unfair competition, dilution and false advertising.

In the lawsuit, Rawlings claims that Wilson used a baseball glove with metallic gold-colored webbing, stitching and letters that it manufactured in promotional photos with Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds after Phillips won a Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2011, thus infringing on Rawlings' Gold Glove Award trademarks.

“(Wilson's) unauthorized use of the Gold Glove Marks dilutes and is
likely to dilute the distinctiveness of these marks by eroding the
public's exclusive associations and reputation of the marks, and
otherwise lessening the capacity of the marks to identify and
distinguish Rawlings' good and services,” alleged Rawlings' in its lawsuit.

Rawlings started the Gold Glove Award in 1957 to recognize outstanding fielding by professional baseball players. The award is given to nine players from the American League and nine from the National League each year. The award itself consists of a gold baseball glove attached to a base, and winners who use Rawlings gloves also receive a functional glove featuring metallic gold markings.

Phillips, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner, is an endorser for Wilson. He has used the Wilson glove with gold-colored webbing during games, warm-ups and practices, and Phillips and Wilson also have promoted the glove itself in various media, Rawlings alleged in court documents.