Two of your favorite brands are fighting.
Target, America’s one-stop-shop for everything you didn’t know you needed, is being sued by Burberry for allegedly ripping off the British fashion house’s iconic check print. (You know the one.)
In a case filed in the Southern District of New York last Wednesday, Burberry accused Target of trademark counterfeiting, infringement and trademark dilution, namely by using Burberry’s signature trademarked pattern on bags, scarves, eyewear, water bottles and more products.
New York State District Court of Southern District of New York
According to the suit, Burberry sent Target a cease-and-desist letter in early 2017 regarding infringing products, but Target continued to produce the print, eventually expanding into even more product categories. “Target’s conduct is willful, intentional, and represents a conscious disregard for Burberry’s rights,” reads the complaint.
Burberry’s primary concern is that similarities between products may cause customer confusion, as Target’s products “are superficially indistinguishable from genuine Burberry scarves” despite “inferior quality.” (Zing.) Part of the confusion, Burberry argues, stems from “Target’s well-publicized history of collaborating with popular brands and fashion designers”—with past collaborators including Victoria Beckham and Rodarte—which “further heightens the risk of such consumer confusion.”
A representative for Target said in a statement to InStyle that “At Target, we have great respect for design rights. We are aware of the filing by Burberry and hope to address the matter in a reasonable manner.”
Burberry is seeking injunctive relief to immediately prohibit Target producing and selling infringing product as well as statutory damages of up to $2 million for each trademark that Target has counterfeited, on top of attorney’s fees. So yes, this is a big deal. Stay tuned.
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