Apparel company Patagonia filed two related lawsuits against Gearbubble and MyLocker claiming that their trademarked logo was being illegally used to sell counterfeit products. The defendants are accused of producing, advertising, and selling these products.
Patagonia, who implements their signature logo on an array of apparel products and equipment, says that “Patagonia brand and its P-6 logo have become among the most identifiable brands in the world”. When people see the logo they believe they are purchasing “high quality products made by a responsible company”.
The lawsuit makes it clear that responsibility is a key aspect of Patagonia’s brand. “Over the years, Patagonia has been recognized and honored for its business initiatives, including receiving the Sustainable Business Counsel’s first “Lifetime Achievement Award.” In 1996, with an increased awareness of the dangers of pesticide use and synthetic fertilizers used in conventional cotton growing, Patagonia began the exclusive use of organically grown cotton and has continued that use for more than twenty years. It was a founding member of the Fair Labor Association® , which is an independent multi-stakeholder verification and training organization that audits apparel factories.”
In addition, Patagonia noted that it pledges 1% of its profits to environmental groups and has raised over $100 million in addition to other large donations. They believe that the customer chooses their product because of Patagonia’s commitment to environmentalism, and that making counterfeit apparel hurts not just their business, but the causes they support
Patagonia fears that these actions “will cause a likelihood of confusion among consumers regarding the source of Gearbubble’s products, and whether Patagonia has sponsored , licensed, authorized, or is somehow affiliated with Gearbubble”. The same sentiment is echoed in the case against MyLocker.
Patagonia cited seven counts of various trademark dilutions and violations, as well as allegations of unfair competition. They also request that the defendants monitor their sites for any infringing third-party designs, and send any inventory with the Patagonia logo to them. Lastly, they request payment equal to the amount of profits garnered from all sales and payment for damages.
The plaintiff is defended by Verso Law Group.