The parties told a California federal court that they’ve reached a settlement that will resolve Coachella’s March lawsuit “in its entirety.” Specifics of the deal were not disclosed, but it is expected to be finalized within a month’s time.
Representatives of Urban and Coachella could not be reached for comment.
In Coachella’s initial complaint, it accused Urban of illegally using the festival’s popular and trademarked name to identify and describe several pieces of merchandise through its Free People brand.
Products at issue included Free People’s “Coachella Boot,” “Coachella Mini Dress,” “Coachella Pocket Tank” and “Coachella Valley Tunic,” all of which were sold online but have since been removed.
Coachella also claimed that Urban and Free People were using the name as a keyword trigger in online advertising and display URLs and that a cease-and-desist letter sent last year, along with other, earlier communications, went ignored.
The festival has its own range of branded apparel and merchandise, as well as a licensing agreement with H&M for a line of jewelry and apparel, leading it to accuse Urban of unfair competition in addition to trademark infringement.
Urban for its part tried for a workaround in June, arguing that it didn’t have close enough ties to Free People to be a part of the lawsuit, meaning it should be dismissed “whatever the merits.”
Urban is the sole owner of Free People and its roughly 1,400 retail locations.
As for Urban’s alleged purchase of the word “Coachella” for use in search engine keyword results set to trigger adverts for Free People, also paid for by Urban, the retailer admitted this would count as allegedly unlawful conduct, were it not for newer legal standards that allegedly classify it as “non-trademark use.”
Urban is no stranger to accusations of trademark infringement. The retailer in May agreed to stop selling any and all merchandise with the name or related insignia of Harley-Davidson and a federal appeals court in April ruled that it had coped the fabric design of a Los Angeles manufacturer with “reckless disregard.”
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