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Dive Brief:

  • Gap Inc.’s namesake brand is facing accusations of trademark infringement over fleece pullovers that Patagonia says imitate its logo and “Snap-T” designs, according to Patagonia filings at the U.S. District Court in Northern California.

  • The designs are close enough to sow confusion among consumers, including leading them to believe that Gap may be collaborating with Patagonia, per the documents.

  • Patagonia, which requested a jury trial, is asking the court to force Gap to stop selling the offending items and for monetary damages. In an email Gap Inc. said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

Dive Insight:

Patagonia has enlisted one of Gap’s own customers, publishing a one-star product review titled “obvious Pata*gonia ripoff” and noting the customer “had to zoom in just to ensure that the logo was Gap.”

The privately held outdoor gear company has repeatedly told Gap to refrain from copying its trademarks, per the filing.

“Given how derivative the Gap Infringements are of Patagonia’s original designs and logo, there is no question that Gap’s copying has been willful and deliberate,” the brand said in its lawsuit. “Patagonia also warned Gap in prior years to stop copying its products, trade dress and logos, including designs that infringed Patagonia’s Snap-T trade dress. Its adoption of designs and logos bearing even more similarity cannot have occurred by accident.”

Patagonia made headlines earlier this year when founder Yvon Chouinard and his family turned over ownership to entities that will prioritize planet-friendly action and investment over shareholder interests.

Gap has also been in the news recently, as its collaboration with Ye, also known as Kanye West, broke down. The hip-hop artist and fashion designer, amid a series of problematic comments and actions, ended their partnership in September. About a month ago, Gap announced it would stop selling Yeezy Gap items still in the pipeline, hours after Adidas ended its own longstanding Yeezy line.

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