A small Brazilian clothing company is facing the might of the All Blacks' legal team over a martial arts uniform that an expert says may also offend Maori.
Sao Paulo-based KVRA Clothing has created a Maori-inspired "gi" - the kimono-style uniform worn in karate, judo, jiu jitsu and other martial arts.
The "haka kimono" sells for BR$589.90 ($264) online, and the limited-edition run of 500 has nearly sold out since launching last month.
The black uniform features white Maori-style motifs, including a ta moko design overlaid on a skull.
The company's use of a silver fern on the uniform and its promotional material has drawn the ire of NZ Rugby.
NZR has trademarked the fern's use around the world and is concerned about other companies trading off its brand.
A NZR spokesman says KVRA's fern design is the same as the one used by the All Blacks, and it will request the company remove the fern from all of its marketing.
The New Zealand Herald brought the gi to NZR's attention last week, but KVRA is yet to pull the design.
The company did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Meanwhile, Auckland University of Technology Professor Paul Moon warns the design may cause offence.
Dr Moon says from an aesthetic perspective, it's interesting to see the use and reinterpretation of ta moko, but foreign companies often don't understand its meaning or significance.
"There is a concern that the significance of the designs is marginalised, and that people who get these moko are using them only as decoration. To that extent, it devalues and even trivialises the culture," he says.
"Some Maori are particularly concerned with what they see as the misappropriation of traditional designs, and the use of a moko on a skull would be regarded as offensive by many Maori."
The All Blacks are well-known in Brazil, though few in the soccer-mad country play rugby.
However, its rugby sevens team has automatically qualified to compete when Brazil hosts the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year.