Do not Be a Copycat:

Patagonia Settles Trademark Dispute with GAP

Patagonia Inc., the renowned outdoor apparel brand, has settled its trademark infringement lawsuit against GAP Inc. The legal clash, centred around the alleged copying of Patagonia’s signature Snap-T Pullover design, has reached a conclusion, though the settlement details remain confidential. The case dismissal follows an agreement between the two companies to withdraw their respective claims.

Patagonia initiated the lawsuit in November, accusing GAP of mimicking its distinctive snapped flap pocket design and the well-known “P-6” mountain logo. The lawsuit argued that GAP’s imitation could dilute Patagonia’s unique brand identity and cause confusion among customers. “The GAP infringements have caused or are likely to cause dilution of Patagonia’s famous and distinctive mark by diminishing its distinctiveness and singular association with Patagonia,” stated Patagonia. The brand emphasized the intentional and blatant nature of GAP’s copying, highlighting the risk of customers mistaking GAP products for Patagonia’s, especially given GAP’s history of brand collaborations.

Patagonia took legal action against the American retail giant, accusing it of unlawfully replicating its beloved Snap-T pocket design, a staple in Patagonia’s fleece sweaters for over thirty years. As reported by Reuters, the complaint was filed in a San Francisco federal court, spotlighting GAP’s recent fleece jackets that bore striking resemblances to Patagonia’s signature designs and logos.

Patagonia’s lawsuit did not mince words, asserting that the similarities between the products were too precise to be coincidental. The complaint even cited a critical customer review that noted the uncanny resemblance: “Obvious Patagonia rip-off. I had to zoom in just to ensure that the logo was GAP.”

Patagonia’s Snap-T pullover is not just a piece of clothing; it is a cultural icon displayed in prestigious museums like New York’s Museum of Modern Art and London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Comparing the two brands’ jackets underscores the depth of the controversy.

This type of copying is not just for major international brands.

Our own Outdoor Kea has been dealing with a similar issue of people seeing a good idea and copying it

Oscar Wilde said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”

But not in business!

How close was the copy? See for yourself.

Check out the side-by-side images to see the similarities that sparked this legal adventure.



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