LONDON — Superdry has sued Asos in the High Court for allegedly copying its “Osaka” branding on sweatshirts and T-shirts.
According to court documents sent to WWD, Superdry specified five products on Asos.com bearing the “Osaka” trademark. This includes two T-shirts from New Look, one shirt from Topman and one item designed by Asos.
One oversize T-shirt from New Look featured the word Osaka in the same font as Superdry’s products, as well as the same use of the contraction “JPN” and the same use of Japanese characters.
Superdry claims it wrote to Asos in July to complain, asking the online retailer to remove the items from its website. The lawsuit states that Asos said in reply that it would remove the Osaka branded items but continued to sell them and added further Osaka-branded products.
Since Asos sells Superdry clothing, the filing states that “it is inconceivable that Asos was not aware of the Osaka brand at the time it commenced the sale of the goods. It is clear that the product is designed to reproduce the look of Superdry’s goods such as to mislead the average consumer.”
The U.K. label, known for its use of Japanese culture and styling, developed the Osaka brand in 2003. Osaka, a port city, is a major commercial center of Japan. The trademark covers sweatshirts, hoodies and T-shirts, and achieved registration in 2018.
According to Superdry’s claim, the line has been a “considerable success.” Since 2015, more than 291,000 items of clothing bearing the Osaka branding had been sold by Superdry in the U.K., reaching over 5.1 million pounds in sales.
Superdry is seeking an injunction to stop Asos infringing its trademark in future. It is also seeking an inquiry as to damages.
Julian Dunkerton, Superdry’s founder, told WWD: “We are really proud of the unique design and high quality of Superdry products, which also have some of the best sustainability credentials in the industry. To safeguard consumers and protect our brand, we will always take robust action against those who produce copycat and counterfeit goods, which is particularly important as our plan to reset and reenergize the brand gathers pace. The Osaka brand is an important part of Superdry’s heritage.”
Superdry’s claim against Asos comes after a recent successful injunction against Bolf, a Polish retailer, who were found to be infringing more than 100 Superdry products, trademarks and designs.
The company added that it has been seeing a “significant increase” in counterfeit products on online platforms.
Asos declined to comment.