Burberry v Target: Pattern trade mark tussle

High end fashion house, Burberry, has taken a trade mark infringement swipe at US discount store Target over the use of a check pattern.

As brand grow, especially in the fashion world, recognisable visuals are an indication that brand is at the highest level.

Burberry is no exception.

Their check design is one of the widest recognised patterns and is used on a wide range of products.

The ‘Burberry Check’ was first introduced in the 1920’s and is registered as a trade mark in the US, both in black and white and in its distinctive red, camel, black and white colouring.

Burberry claim that Target in its 2,000 stores has infringed the ‘luxury check’.

The claim states that while Target will clearly aware of Burberry’s trade mark rights, they continued to infringe those rights by producing and selling a wide range of products which were imitations of the ‘Burberry Check’.

In 2017 a cease and desist letter was sent by Burberry, however this was not noted by Target who continued to sell infringing products.

A big part of Burberry’s claim is that the infringing activity by Target is causing significant injury to Burberry’s goodwill and reputation, with customers believing that Target’s products, which are of lesser quality, originate form Burberry or are somewhat linked to the high-end brand.

This is an interesting case as both parties are well established brands but at different ends of the pricing scale.

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