Mind the Gap: A fraudulent fleece
A fleece frenzy has been ignited by The Gap who is being sued by Patagonia for infringing their intellectual property (IP) rights. This was brought to light by a recent Snap-T lookalike design release and a logo imitation that might have been just one step too far.
The sustainable clothing and outdoor brand Patagonia has recently filed a lawsuit against clothing giant Gap’s sale of a fleece jacket that Patagonia claims to be passing off their design and trademark rights. The jacket design resembles Patagonia’s signature Snap-T pocket design which the brand has been selling for over 30 years.
Consumer confusion is often a key trait in an IP infringement case and with a public one-star product review that was published titled “obvious Pata*gonia ripoff” it appears that the fleece is likely misleading and confusing customers. Patagonia has now enlisted this Gap customer and author of the review who then continued to write that they “had to zoom in just to ensure that the logo was Gap.”
The complaint filed states that Gap has deliberately sold lookalike fleece jackets that imitate Patagonia’s design with not only their well-known flap pocket, but also the rectangular P-6 mountain logo. Patagonia believes that Gap had the intention to confuse shoppers into thinking they made the jackets which is an intellectual property breach.
As a result of this claimed infringement, Patagonia has requested a jury trial to ask the court to force Gap to stop selling the specified items and to compensate for monetary damages. Gap has also been warned by Patagonia previously about copying their products, designs and logos.
No company is immune from IP infringement exposure. Infringement claims can occur across any sector, from vegan food producers to multi-million-dollar tech giants. The only way to comprehensively protect businesses from the exposure of a claim is with a standalone IP policy.
From wilful infringement to a phony claim, businesses can often breach IP without even knowing. Allegations can cause significant legal fees, infringement costs, product recall expenses and even monetary compensation. These cases can cost millions and often stop a business in their tracks.
A comprehensive IP policy will cover the costs around an IP infringement in cases like this one. Whether defence or pursuit, CFC’s broad IP cover means insureds are totally protected. Find out more about CFC’s IP policy here, or contact our IP team directly on email@example.com