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Patagonia is so convinced that Gap’s Arctic Fleece pullovers for men and kids are rip-offs of its own Snap-T Fleece that the company has filed a lawsuit against its rival in the U.S. District Court of Northern California. In the complaint, Patagonia alleges that the agreements may confuse consumers.
Business Insider (BI) reports that Patagonia first introduced its Snap-T Fleece in 1985, but that competing brands, including Gap, did not begin selling fleece products until the 1990s.
Patagonia claims Gap violates a trade law element called “trade dress,” or the features of a product’s appearance that tell customers who made the product. According to Patagonia, the similarities between the product and Gap’s “cannot have arisen by accident”.
It’s a serious lawsuit, as Patagonia is seeking litigation and damages in addition to all Snap-T Fleece profits and Gap’s fleece inventory.
As BI points out, this is bad timing for Gap, as the company is also dealing with the fallout from the dissolution of its partnership with Kanye West, aka Ye, in the form of the rapper’s line of Yeezy products, which the company has outsourced. its stores last month — a loss of $53 million, according to Gap.
Gap has not yet commented on the ongoing legal action.