In a suit filed just last week in New York’s Southern District Court, the luxury fashion brand, Burberry, is accusing Target of “repeated, willful, and egregious misappropriation of Burberry’s famous and iconic luxury check trademarks.”
Burberry first discovered that Target was selling products featuring it’s iconic plaid back in 2017. These products ranged from luggage to water bottles to eyeglasses. Followed by these findings was a cease-and-desist letter by Burberry.
But once the fashion house found out that Target was also selling scarves with Burberry’s pattern at a fraction of the price, the brand then decided to take the retailer to court.
The suit reads:
“Although Target’s copycat scarves are of inferior quality, they are superficially indistinguishable from genuine Burberry scarves.”
The suit also states:
“Target’s misuse of the Burberry Check Trademark … has significantly injured Burberry’s hard-earned reputation and goodwill, and has diluted the distinctiveness.”
And while fashion brands have been known to copy each other’s designs, the American copyright law still does not adequately protect fashion.
But even with that in mind, the use of Burberry’s pattern by Target is alarming because Burberry officially owns the trademark of the check pattern and has sued companies like J.C. Penney in the past for trying to use it.
Fashion Ambitions has reached out to Target to comment on the case and on Wednesday, May 9, 11:31 a.m. ET, a spokesperson from Target issued the following statement:
“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.”