Patagonia Inc., the retailer of high-end outdoor apparel, has filed a lawsuit accusing Gap Inc., of illegally copying the ‘iconic’ flap pocket it has used on fleece outerwear for more than three decades.
In the suit, Patagonia alleges that Gap intentionally and willfully sells fleece jackets that mimic the company’s flap pocket and rectangular ‘P-6’ logo without permission.
Patagonia is seeking unspecified damages, attorneys’ fees and an injunction barring Gap from selling the infringing products.
If this is the case, it would be a clear violation of trademark law, and Patagonia seems to have a strong case for infringement. However, it remains to be seen how successful the lawsuit will be.
Patagonia said that Gap’s actions undermine the company’s reputation and are aimed at making customers believe that the jackets were made by Gap or that the company is allowed to use its trademarks.
Patagonia also said it had warned San Francisco-based Gap in previous years to stop copying its products, meaning the alleged ‘adoption of designs and logos that bear even more similarity could not have happened by accident’.
Patagonia said it introduced its Snap-T jumper in 1985 and added the flap pocket four years later. The Snap-T design has been featured in exhibitions at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.