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Coach files trademark and unfair competition complaint against Gap

The complaint takes issue with some Old Navy-branded t-shirts, which attorneys for the Tapestry-owned brand say are meant to make consumers think “there is a connection or association between” the bra

Coach files trademark and unfair competition complaint against Gap

A person walks past Coach bags in a window of Macy's flagship store. Coach has filed a legal complaint against Gap Inc. Drew Angerer/Getty Images via Getty Images

Dive Brief:

  • Coach has filed a trademark infringement complaint against Gap Inc. over the use of the word “coach” on various Old Navy brand products, according to a court filing last week.
  • Attorneys for Coach say that the brand has “suffered substantial damages” as a result of the products and say that the Gap products “are likely to create a false impression and deceive consumers, the public, and the trade into believing that there is a connection or association between” the brands.
  • The complaint also claims violation of unfair competition laws, and attorneys for the brand called Gap a competitor of Tapestry Inc.-owned Coach.

Dive Insight:

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, centers on at least two Old Navy-branded shirts that have the word “Coach” written on them. Attorneys for Coach say the sale of the shirts was “an effort to exploit [Coach’s] goodwill and reputation,” by using coach trademarks.

The complaint states that more products with the “Coach” word on it may exist and that they will seek those items in the discovery phase of the legal complaint.

Coach files trademark and unfair competition complaint against Gap

Optional Caption Retrieved from Court Filing.  

Tapestry is involved in a similar, ongoing case against Inland Empire Materials over the sale of alleged counterfeit Coach products, per court documents.

Neither Gap nor Tapestry spokespeople immediately responded to Fashion Dive’s request for comment.

Along with Coach, Tapestry also owns the Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brands. It is in the process of finalizing a deal with Capri Holdings, in which it will become the owner of the Michael Kors, Versace and Jimmy Choo brands. That deal is expected to close this year. 

In its most recent quarterly results reported in February, Tapestry reported revenue of $2.1 billion, a 3% year-over-year increase. Coach was the largest driver in the results, earning $1.5 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 6% increase from the prior year, while its sister brands Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman both saw declines.

Gap is the owner of Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta, as well as its namesake brand. It recently appointed Richard Dickson its CEO after Dickson held the COO position at Mattel.

Old Navy net sales grew 6% in its most recent results reported last month, while the namesake brand saw net sales fall 5%. Overall, the company’s total net sales were $4.3 billion.