Outdoor apparel brand Patagonia has filed a lawsuit against Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom, accusing the company of selling counterfeit Patagonia products in its off-price Nordstrom Rack stores. The legal action comes after Patagonia ended its years-long dealer relationship with Nordstrom.
According to the suit filed on Tuesday in the US District Court for the Central District of California, Nordstrom has sold thousands of counterfeit Patagonia sweatshirts and t-shirts throughout 2023. The lawsuit alleges that Nordstrom’s previous status as an authorized dealer highlights the willfulness of their decision to source and sell counterfeit products.
Patagonia claims that the counterfeit clothing was “obvious,” with examples such as typographical errors on tags and one item claiming to be made of both 100% polyester and organic cotton. The outdoor brand argues that these counterfeit products prey on Patagonia’s reputation, misleading customers into buying poor-quality items that were likely made in factories with conditions that do not meet Fair Trade Certified requirements.
In response to the allegations, Nordstrom stated, “We are aware of the lawsuit and take these allegations seriously. We are currently reviewing the matter.” The company has yet to provide further comment on the issue.
The lawsuit accuses Nordstrom of counterfeiting, trademark infringement, unfair competition, dilution, and copyright infringement. Patagonia is seeking a judge to rule that Nordstrom has committed trademark and copyright infringement and has competed unfairly with Patagonia. Additionally, the company is asking for an immediate injunction preventing Nordstrom from manufacturing, producing, sourcing, importing, and selling any products that resemble Patagonia’s products and trademark.
Furthermore, Patagonia is requesting that Nordstrom be forced to recall all of the counterfeit items it sold and pay Patagonia for lost profits and damages. Both Nordstrom and Patagonia have not yet responded to inquiries about the lawsuit.
This legal battle highlights the importance of protecting brand reputation and ensuring that customers receive genuine, high-quality products. As the case unfolds, it will be interesting to see how Nordstrom addresses these allegations and what steps they take to rectify the situation if found guilty of selling counterfeit Patagonia merchandise.