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Australian apparel brand sues Nets, NBA, Nike over ‘Coogi’ uniforms

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Coogi, the Australian apparel brand, is suing the Nets, NBA and Nike, claiming the three didn’t have proper authorization to market Brooklyn’s popular ”Brooklyn Camo” uniforms that pay tribute to Biggie Smalls, aka Notorious B.I.G., the Clinton Hill rapper who popularized the brand before being murdered in 1997.

TMZ first broke the news.

The Nets black uniforms were trimmed with a pattern that was reminiscent of Coogi’s signature knitwear. The team is wearing them 16 times this season and more than one Nets player would like to see them worn even more often. Part of the NBA’s City Edition alternatives, the uniforms have proved popular with the fans as well as the players.

“While other colorful and ornamental sweaters have and continue to exist, the highly distinctive and ornamental designs of COOGI sweaters and apparel have become exceedingly famous,” COOGIE said in its lawsuit. The brand demands the Nets stop wearing the pattern and selling the copyrighted merchandise online and at its outlet at Barclays Center.

“[The defendants] were well aware that Biggie neither wore nor rapped about anything called ‘Brooklyn Camo,” the lawsuit reads. “But they created, marketed and sold and distributed ‘Brooklyn Camo’ products so as to confuse consumers about the connection between their goods… and Coogi.”

Biggie was perhaps Coogi’s biggest promoter. He not only wore their apparel but name dropped the brand in a number of records:

”However, living better now, Coogi sweater now” - “Big Poppa” (1995)

”Every cutie wit a booty bought a Coogi,” - “Hypnotize” (1997)

Later, this happened...