Harley-Davidson gets legal again to protect trademarks

Harley-Davidson has filed another civil lawsuit against a clothing retailer as it tries to clamp down on companies that copy its trademarks.

The latest company to find itself in the motorcycle company's spotlight is US apparel and lifestyle merchandise retailer Urban Outfitters, which stands accused of selling bodysuits and T shirts that infringe Harley-Davidson's trademarks and pose unfair competition to the brand.

Harley-Davidson sold $3.44bn-worth of motorcycles in the first nine months of fiscal 2016, while merchandise such as clothing and other items added $213m to its turnover.

The Urban Outfitters products contravened the brand owner's trademarks in various ways, according to the complaint. For example, it claims Urban Outfitters "has taken genuine licensed Harley-Davidson products … and materially altered and reconstructed those products to create new products and designs", for example by cutting off sleeves or shredding the bottom of items.

The complaint alleges the retailer removed Harley-Davidson hangtags for licensed merchandise from certain products and affixed its own hangtags bearing the "Urban Renewal" brand for vintage or recycled materials.

It also insists that Urban Outfitters "has used the Harley-Davidson trademark in a variety of unauthorised ways that falsely suggest and are likely to create the mistaken impression that Urban Outfitters' products come from or are authorised, approved, and/or licensed by Harley-Davidson when they are not."

Harley-Davidson is asking for an injunction on sales, profits, statutory damages of $2m per trademark, as well as damages and costs.

The dispute between the two companies extends back to at least 2014, when Harley-Davidson sent a cease-and-desist letter to Urban Outfitters.

Last year, Harley-Davidson sued Los Angeles retailer Forever 21 in a Wisconsin federal court alleging that a range of jackets sold by the retailer carrying the words 'Commander New York Motor Club' were effectively counterfeits.

"The only way to be sure you're buying a genuine Harley-Davidson product, and protect yourself from fraud, is to buy directly from the Harley-Davidson online store or a Harley-Davidson authorised dealer or retailer," says the company.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top