On Monday, Walmart Inc. filed its answer to the Central District of California responding to Patagonia, Inc.’s complaint alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition.
As previously reported by Law Street Media, Patagonia initiated the present litigation by filing a complaint against retail giant Walmart and New York apparel seller Robin Ruth USA. In the complaint, Patagonia alleged that Robin Ruth has produced and sold apparel bearing nearly identical copies of Patagonia’s P-6 Trout logo and artwork. Further, it alleged that the infringing products were sold throughout the country in Walmart stores and online resulting in significant profits for the defendants.
Through the complaint, Patagonia alleged trademark infringement, federal unfair competition, dilution of a famous mark, copyright infringement and California trademark infringement, unfair competition and trademark dilution. Further, Patagonia argued that the defendant’s conduct was willful and likely to cause confusion and dilution of its famous and distinctive marks.
In response to the complaint, Walmart admits to selling items that look like the alleged infringing apparel in the complaint, but otherwise “generally and specifically denies” every other allegation. In addition to denying Patagonia’s allegations, Walmart raised three affirmative defenses. First, that Patagonia failed to state facts sufficient to plead a cause of action. Second, that its alleged usage was fair use, and third that its alleged usage is expressive work protected by the First Amendment.
A scheduling conference is set for March 3, 2023. Patagonia is represented by Verso Law Group., and Walmart is represented by Keats Gatien, LLP.