Burberry Sues Target Over Trademark Plaid
Burberry recently filed a lawsuit against Target claiming the discount store retailer copied its trademark plaid on apparel and accessories such as eyewear, luggage, scarves and other items. "Despite being aware of Burberry's exclusive trademark rights, Target nevertheless has repeatedly infringed these rights by selling a variety of products bearing close imitations and counterfeits of the Burberry Check trademark," reads the suit, filed in the Southern District of New York court earlier this month. "Target's conduct is willful, intentional and represents a conscious disregard for Burberry's rights in the Burberry Check trademark and a calculated decision to misappropriate the enormous goodwill represented by the Burberry Check trademark." Burberry is suing for damages of around $8 million for each trademark violation, according to the filing.
Total Retail’s Take: When looking at products from the two companies side-by-side, it's hard to tell which is from which. While we hear a lot about the issue of counterfeit items and trademark violations in the online retail space, particularly on marketplaces (Birkenstock pulling its products from Amazon due to counterfeits comes to mind), it’s a bit surprising to hear of a design copy case from a traditional retailer such as Target. The first cease-and-desist letter was sent by Burberry to Target in December 2017. "At Target, we have great respect for design rights. We are aware of the filing by Burberry and hope to address the matter in a reasonable manner,” a Target spokeswoman told Ad Age.