The Top 10 Biggest Trademark Disputes of 2018

Following on from last year's post about the biggest trademark battles of the year, Lawyer Monthly has put together this year's round up.

  1. Burberry Vs Target

In May 2018, luxury brand Burberry sued US retail giant Target over some very distinctive scarf designs. Burberry claimed that its iconic luxury checker pattern had been copied, infringing on its trademark claim to the pattern.

Here are the two scarfs, one the well-known checker pattern and iconic colours of Burberry, one the Target low-budget version:

Many will remember the days when Burberry type designs could be found at low cost at their local market, but when former CEO Angela Ahrendts and then Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey clamped down on the availability of cheap knock-offs, extreme measures were put in place to prevent similar designs ever sold online or in cheap stores with low price tags. Burberry even went as far as burning product rather than allowing it to re-surface with embarrassing price tags.

The lawsuit was settled amicably in September 2018, but Burberry did state that this trademark transgression came as a surprise, given Target’s usual habit of teaming up with luxury brands on exclusive Target only offers. “Target’s well-publicized history of collaborating with popular brands and fashion designers to promote and sell Target-exclusive limited-edition collections further heightens the risk of such consumer confusion,” a spokesperson said.

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