By Gillian Fuller. Photos: Getty Images, Courtesy of Brand.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday evening, claims Urban Outfitter’s sister brand, Free People, has been illegally using the trademarked Coachella name to sell products. Up until today, there were at least three products available at freepeople.com that used the festival’s name in its advertising: The “Coachella Boot,” the “Coachella Valley Tunic,” and the “Coachella Mini Dress.” Cosmopolitan acquired screen shots of the latter product on Thursday, but as of Friday morning, all three items have been removed from the brand’s website. The lawsuit also states that “a Google search for ‘Coachella clothing’ results in an advertisement for [Free People’s] infringing goods.” Again, Cosmopolitan acquired evidence of this claim with a screenshot; however, as of Friday morning, the advertisement appears to have been removed.
Aside from being an obvious trademark infringement, the folks at Coachella claim Free People’s use of the name makes it difficult for consumers to determine what is authorized Coachella merchandise, and what is not. The music festival has an official fast-fashion line, created with H&M, as well as a collection released in collaboration with the jewelry company Pandora. By using the Coachella name, the suit alleges, Free People is “misdirect[ing] consumers” and “trading on the goodwill and fame” of the Coachella brand. The festival says it was forced to act in order to “protect the famous Coachella marks and protect the public.”
This isn’t the first time Urban Outfitters has been hit with a lawsuit: In fact, the company has a long and messy history of litigation and controversies (perhaps the most famous of these is the lawsuit filed against the brand’s use of the term ‘Navajo’ in its brand descriptions and advertisements. That suit, which dragged on for four years, was finally settled for upwards of $1 million in 2016). We reached out to Urban Outfitters for further information, but they were unable to comment at this time. Stay tuned for more details, and read up on Coachella 2017 here.
This story originally appeared on Allure.
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