On Tuesday, May 31, Patagonia filed a lawsuit against Nordstrom Rack in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Western Division in Los Angeles. According to court documents, Patagonia alleges the Rack sold thousands of fake sweatshirts and T-shirts.
Patagonia’s complaint alleges, “counterfeiting, trademark infringement, unfair competition, dilution, and copyright infringement,” court documents show.
“We are aware of the lawsuit and take these allegations seriously,” a Nordstrom spokesperson said. “We are currently reviewing the matter.”
Patagonia Sues Nordstrom
If you know much about Patagonia, you know that the brand goes to great lengths to make high-quality products, made with environmentally friendly materials and manufactured ethically. It’s part of what goes into Patagonia’s infamously high price points.
And it’s also why the brand strictly polices against alleged forgery or copyright infringement. Patagonia sued GAP INC. in 2022 for selling pullover snap fleeces that the brand claimed infringed on its logo and snap tee designs. The brands settled that lawsuit out of court.
According to the court filing, Patagonia alleges that Nordstrom willfully marketed and sold “substantial quantities of products bearing the Counterfeit Designs.”
Images of the alleged forgeries’ neck tags show they claim to be 100% cotton, but the care tags indicate the product is made entirely from polyester. There were also typographical errors and other giveaways Patagonia called “obvious” in its complaint.
Patagonia Seeks Judgment
“Patagonia has spent decades, and invested millions of dollars, to establish product quality and fair labor practices as pillars of its brand,” Patagonia’s lawsuit reads. “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 Patagonia lawsuit continues, alleging that since Nordstrom Rack was previously an authorized dealer of their products, it should have been familiar enough with its trademarks, products, and labeling to know it was selling forgeries.
As such, Patagonia is asking the judge to rule that Nordstrom committed trademark and copyright infringement, competed unfairly with Patagonia, and used “counterfeit reproduction” of the brand’s products.
It is asking the judge to immediately terminate Nordstom’s manufacturing, producing, sourcing, importing, and/or selling products that resemble Patagonia’s. It’s also requesting that Nordstrom recall all counterfeit Patagonia products sold.