Patagonia Accuses Nordstrom of Selling Counterfeit Products in a New Lawsuit

Patagonia is coming after Nordstrom in a new lawsuit accusing the retailer of selling knock-off versions of its apparel.

The department store retailer is selling “thousands of counterfeit Patagonia sweatshirts and t-shirts” via its Nordstrom Rack chain, alleges the suit, which was filed in a Los Angeles District Court on Tuesday. According to Patagonia, the sale of these copycat products, which bear fake Patagonia labels on them, hurts the outdoor brand’s brand reputation and misleads consumers about the quality of the merchandise they are receiving.

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“These counterfeit products prey on Patagonia’s reputation, misleading customers into buying poor quality products that were, on information and belief, made in factories with conditions that do not meet Fair Trade Certified requirements,” the suit alleged. (Fair Trade Certified means that products are made in an ethical and sustainable manner.)

Nordstrom used to have a deal with Patagonia to sell the brand’s apparel in stores. Patagonia recently decided to not renew the deal and discovered the counterfeit products in 2023, the brand said. Patagonia is suing Nordstrom for counterfeiting, trademark infringement, unfair competition, dilution and copyright infringement.

Patagonia said it previously asked Nordstrom to recall the products before filing a lawsuit.

FN has reached out to Nordstrom and Patagonia for comment.

This lawsuit isn’t the first time Patagonia has gone after copycat products. In November, the company sued Gap, Inc. for allegedly selling copies of its Snap-T pullover fleece that utilized a “highly similar” rectangular logo that resembles its “P-6” mountain skyline logo, first used in 1973. The outdoor company added in the filing that these Gap products were designed to “make it appear” as though Patagonia was the source of Gap’s products or has collaborated with Gap or authorized use of its trademark and trade dress.

And in October, Patagonia filed a trademark infringement, copyright infringement and unfair competition lawsuit against Walmart. In the complaint, Patagonia alleged that both Walmart and New York-based lifestyle apparel brand Robin Ruth USA produced and sold apparel bearing what Patagonia called “nearly identical” copies of its P-6 Trout logo and artwork, replacing the “Patagonia” trademark with the word “Montana.”

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