By Laura Phillips

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Boulder-based business Shinesty is suing underwear sales competitor Tommy John. The federal lawsuit, filed May 27, claims Tommy John ripped off Shinesty’s “Ball Hammock” line of underwear. Shinesty filed for a trademark in 2018 and the trademark was registered in October 2019. Tommy John launched its “Hammock Pouch” in 2020.

“Ball Hammock underwear is one of our best-selling items, and for good reason; the technical design and quality of materials are best-in-class, and our signature outrageous graphics are iconic,” said Jens Nicolaysen, Shinesty co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, in a press release.

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Shinesty’s CEO and co-founder Chris White claims they tried to resolve the issue outside the courtroom, but the efforts were unsuccessful.

“We are a fun brand with fun products but we take any attempt to infringe upon our creativity, innovation, design and quality very seriously,” said White in a press release. “Despite our numerous friendly attempts to protect our trademark by reaching out directly to Tommy John, we’ve been forced to take action.”

The lawsuit asks, among other things, that Tommy John stop selling and advertising anything with a “hammock” brand. Shinesty is also seeking unspecified monetary relief.

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“It was, for lack of a better term, a dick move,” White said. “We’ve built a strong brand connection with our customers and we intend to protect it.”

Tommy John has not responded to CBS4’s request for comment.

Shinesty was started by two friends in Boulder 2014. The company employs about 50 people in the Denver area. According to Tommy John’s web site, the company was started by a husband and wife team and is based in New York.

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See photos of Shinesty products that are exhibits in the lawsuit and see photos of Tommy John products that are also exhibits in the lawsuit.

Laura Phillips