Patagonia wants to put the brakes on a bumper sticker-maker allegedly using the outdoor brand’s famous mountain logo.
The eco-minded brand at the end of March filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in California federal court against Wyoming-based TGT Inc., accusing the company of producing a range of bumper stickers depicting individual U.S. state names over the well-known stylized drawing of the Fitz Roy mountain range and skyline that Patagonia uses as its part of its logo.
Patagonia has been using the logo since its founding in the mid-Seventies and first earned trademark protection in 1984 covering the mark’s use on a full range of apparel and accessories. Two additional trademarks covering different versions and another use of the logo came in 1989 and 1993, respectively, and Patagonia also owns a copyright of the image.
This isn’t the first time the company has brought its rights to TGT’s attention. Patagonia has sued TGT before and last year said it entered a binding settlement agreement over the bumper stickers, which included TGT’s agreement to halt production and sale of the stickers altogether. TGT has allegedly not only disregarded the agreement but expanded its offering.
“Patagonia recently discovered that, in addition to continuing to sell the TGT designs that were the subject of the prior lawsuit, TGT is selling products bearing additional designs that are similar to the Patagonia trademarks, including the Fitz Roy logo,” Patagonia said in its complaint. “The expanded designs not only violate Patagonia’s rights in the Patagonia trademarks, but also violate the agreement in that they are identical or substantially similar to the Patagonia trademarks.”
Patagonia claims that TGT’s new designs are “nearly identical to the Ritz Roy logo” and that, “except as a deliberate reference to the Patagonia marks, there is no explanation for the degree of copying involved in the design of TGT’s products.”
Considering the alleged similarity, Patagonia said people who see the stickers are likely to be confused about their origin, and that misuse of the marks will diminish their “distinctiveness and singular association with Patagonia.”
As TGT has shown disregard for the previous settlement, Patagonia said it needs a court issue a permanent injunction against TGT and order the company to hand over any profits made from the sale of the infringing stickers.
A representative of TGT could not be reached for comment.
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