Harley-Davidson sues Forever 21 for TM infringement

Harley-Davidson says jackets sold by US retailer Forever 21 infringe its trademarks - and it wants millions of dollars in damages.

The motorcycle and clothing brand has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles-based Forever 21 in a Wisconsin federal court alleging that a range of jackets sold by the retailer - bearing the words 'Commander New York Motor Club' - are effectively counterfeits.

According to a report on Law360 the jackets have counterfeit reproductions of Harley-Davidson's bar-and-shield logo.

The complaint claims that in using the design Forever 21 "falsely suggests and is likely to create the mistaken impression that Forever 21 [and] its products … are sponsored by, approved by, affiliated with, connected with, or originate from Harley, when they are not."

The brand-owner is seeking damages of $2m 'per mark per type of product' sold and distributed by Forever 21 as well as the destruction of all products bearing the disputed logo.

Harley-Davidson sells its authentic products through its own stores and authorised distributors such as Harley-Davidson motorcycle deals, but has been plagued by counterfeits and look-alike products for years, eating into its revenues.

The company operates an Internet monitoring and enforcement programme to try to rein in the counterfeit trade, as well as business-to-business programmes aimed at getting online and offline retail outlets to be watchful for trademark-infringing products.

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