Coachella brings action against Urban Outfitters

Coachella, the very prestigious and exclusive festival held mainly for celebrities, is taking on clothing giant Urban Outfitters on the grounds that they are trading on its “goodwill and fame”. Which may appear similar to the remarks made by LJ Jacob in L’Oreal v Bellure where the defendant was considered to be “riding on the coat tails” of the claimant.

Urban Outfitters find themselves in this compromised position as a result of using ‘Coachella’ to describe numerous items of clothing. Of course, Coachella believe that UO have used this to trigger online hits to their website and increase sales. They also consider that by using the name on Summer clothing they are misleading the public and creating a fake affiliation with the festival. Therefore, the suit details Coachella as suing for false designation of origin and unfair competition, dilution, common law tortious interference of contractual relationships and violation of unfair competition.

The uncertainty that appears with this case is that Coachella, whilst it is prominently known as a festival, is actually the name of the venue it is held in the Californian Valleys and as such Urban Outfitters may be let off the hook!

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