#Burberry Sues #JCPenney over #Trademark Pattern

By Joseph Mandour on February 19, 2016

scarfLos Angeles – The British luxury fashion brand Burberry recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against American retailer J.C. Penney over its well-known “Burberry check” pattern. Burberry got the trademark to the check design in the 1920s, and has used it on numerous products since acquiring the trademark. Burberry claims that the checked pattern has become famous and generally designates the source of its products.

Burberry claims that J.C. Penney sold quilted jackets and “scarf coats” (or matching scarves sold with a coat) with the trademarked pattern for two months even after Burberry brought the issue of infringement to their attention.

“Even though defendants’ infringing products are of inferior quality, they appear superficially similar to genuine Burberry products,” Burberry said. They went on to say, “Defendants’ actions are intended to deceive and mislead consumers into believing that defendants’ or their products are authorized, sponsored by or connected to Burberry.”

Burberry’s primary concern for this lawsuit is based on the idea that knockoff products, like the ones in J.C. Penney, can cause damage to their brand, harm customer opinion, and reduce sales. This motivation to protect the Burberry brand prompted the organization to bring the lawsuit against J.C. Penney and The Levy Group, the distributor involved in supplying the J.C. Penney products.

The lawsuit asks for a halt of J.C. Penney designing or selling products that violate Burberry’s trademark on the checked pattern. Burberry is also seeking either triple damages, all profits from the sales of the trademark, or $2 million for each infringed trademark.

In response to the lawsuit, J.C. Penney stated it does not comment on pending litigation.

This lawsuit against J.C. Penney is one of a several recent lawsuits against the company. Last November the organization was the target of a class action lawsuit over its practice of advertising low prices from a false inflated price. This lawsuit was settled, but J.C. Penny states they settled in efforts to reduce the costs of the litigation, not that they were admitting to any wrong doing.

Last December the Federal Trade Commission alleged J.C. Penney falsely claimed a sock product contained bamboo fibers and microbial properties.

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