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Burberry Sues Target For Copying Iconic Check Pattern

By Chidirim Ndeche 12 May 2018   |   5:03 am

It’s a rip off!

Luxury British label Burberry is fighting tirelessly to protect its iconic trademark check pattern. The brand discovered that copies of its signature scarves were showing up on shelves without its permission and has filed a lawsuit to that effect.

This comes at a time that its check has become more popular after Burberry’s spring 2018 collection where it leaned back into its signature plaid and also had a collaboration with Gosha Rubchinskiy.

Nearly a century old, Burberry’s check trademark has been the cause of many cease-and-desists and lawsuits over the years. The brand takes its design signature very seriously and protects it vigilantly. Over the last couple of decades in particular, the company worked hard to reverse the brand dilution that had resulted both from excessive licensing deals and rampant copying and counterfeits. Reclaiming the pattern as a symbol of Burberry and nothing else became a big priority when Christopher Bailey took the helm and the company hasn’t let up since. J.C. Penney and Body Glove are among the other brands that have been on the receiving end of a Burberry check lawsuit.

Minneapolis-based retailer Target had a lawsuit filed against them on May 2 for selling products, including scarves, luggage, eyewear and stainless-steel bottles, that infringe on Burberry’s plaid trademark.

But this is not a first time offence by the top retailer. Burberry claims that it sent Target a cease and desist letter early last year. “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.

The complaint goes on to say, “Target’s misuse of the Burberry Check Trademark on counterfeit and infringing merchandise has significantly injured Burberry’s hard-earned reputation and goodwill, and has diluted the distinctiveness of the famous Burberry Check Trademark.”

Burberry also believes that Target shoppers are likely to mistakenly think that the infringing products are actually Burberry products or somehow connected to Burberry, adding that Target’s “well-publicised history of collaborating with popular brands and fashion designers to promote and sell Target-exclusive limited edition collections further heightens the risk of such consumer confusion.”

Burberry seeks an injunction barring Target from selling any infringing products, as well as destroying existing products, and monetary damages of up to $2 million and court costs.



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