Cancer nonprofit files legal action against Eddie Bauer - SNEWS

Cancer nonprofit files legal action against Eddie Bauer

First Descents, a Colorado-based nonprofit helping cancer patients and survivors get outdoors has filed a legal action against Eddie Bauer concerning trademark infringement. SNEWS obtained the court documents, providing the first look at the case.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

A small Colorado-based nonprofit helping cancer patients and survivors get outdoors has a bone to pick with one of the bigger brands in the outdoor apparel and gear industry.

First Descents Inc. (www.firstdescents.org) announced Aug. 8, 2011, that it had filed a legal complaint in a Colorado U.S. District Court on Aug. 5, 2011, against Eddie Bauer for alleged trademark infringement. The nonprofit, founded in 2001 by Brad Ludden, claims Eddie Bauer is infringing on the organization's First Descents name and causing confusion with the launching of a “First Descent” line of snowsports gear and apparel.

According to the 17-page complaint obtained by SNEWS, the nonprofit registered the First Descents service mark in 2003; and later, in 2008, tried to register the mark for selling apparel to benefit the nonprofit, which it had been doing since 2001.

But the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office suspended the nonprofit’s application in late 2008 after it was revealed that Eddie Bauer had already filed paperwork for the First Descent mark months earlier, along with additional trademarks for its First Ascent (www.eddiebauer.com/firstascent) line of apparel, launched in 2009.

First Descents claims Eddie Bauer was fully aware of the nonprofit organization and the potential for confusion when it filed for the trademarks. In a statement to SNEWS Eddie Bauer officials said the company owns the trademark rights to the First Ascent name dating back to 1988, and it applied for the First Descent name in early 2008 for use with apparel, gaining approval from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2011.

"We were surprised and disappointed by the suit and press releases from First Descents Inc.,” Eddie Bauer officials said in the statement. “We fully support First Descents as a non-profit organization and we want them to be successful in their mission. We are interested in resolving this in a manner that is satisfactory for both parties."

In court documents, First Descents states that it previously tried to work with Eddie Bauer to resolve the issue in September and October 2010, expressing concerns about confusion between the two brands, especially at events where both Eddie Bauer and First Descents athletes were participating. The nonprofit claims that people began to think that Eddie Bauer sponsored First Descents, even though there is no relationship. The nonprofit also claims damages by its impairment to now raise funds via its First Descents branded apparel.

“Despite First Descents’ protestations to defendants, Eddie Bauer has continued to free-ride on the goodwill that First Descents has built in its charitable activities and outdoor adventure community,” the complaint states.

First Descents offers young-adult cancer patients and survivors a free week of outdoor adventures including climbing, paddling, and surfing in the outdoors.

“While litigation was not my preferred path, it’s imperative that the experience we’ve provided for more than 1,000 young adults with cancer over the last 11 years, and that we continue to provide, is in no way confused with Eddie Bauer’s sponsored teams and retail clothing lines,” Ludden said in a statement.

To read a copy of the legal complaint, click here.

-- David Clucas

Related

Eddie Bauer caught in Spiegel Ch. 11 filing

Eddie Bauer's parent company, the Spiegel Group, has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Its financial woes are a result of declining sales and a draining credit-card division. Debbie Koopman, vice ...read more

Woolrich_Logo.jpg

Woolrich sues Eddie Bauer for alleged trademark infringement

Woolrich, along with John Rich & Sons Investment Holding Company, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Eddie Bauer in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on Jan. 6. Woolrich is alleging that Eddie Bauer is infringing on its trademark "The ...read more

Woolrich Withdraws Complaint Against Eddie Bauer

WOOLRICH, Pa. - March 9, 2009 - Woolrich, Inc. announced today that it has officially withdrawn its trademark infringement court action against Eddie Bauer. Following extensive discussions between the two companies, Eddie Bauer and Woolrich have determined that their respective ...read more

Outdoor financials: Eddie Bauer files for bankruptcy protection, equity firm enters bid; plus Amer Sports

Eddie Bauer files for bankruptcy protection, equity firm enters bid After weeks of rumors to the effect, it's official: Eddie Bauer has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, as well as the Ontario Superior Court of ...read more

EddieBauer.jpg

Eddie Bauer's future positioning will hinge on new CEO

Nearly two weeks after announcing CEO Neil Fiske will step down March 2, Eddie Bauer officials are mum on any significant changes ahead. Eddie Bauer Executive Chairman and appointed Interim CEO David Chamberlain declined further comment on the future direction for the brand, ...read more

Outdoor financials: Eddie Bauer's Q3 loss grows

Eddie Bauer's Q3 loss grows Eddie Bauer Holdings (Nasdaq: EBHI) reported a third-quarter loss, primarily driven by a $19.2 million non-cash change. Net loss for the quarter ended Sept. 27 was $18.6 million, or a loss of $0.61 per share, compared to a loss of $16.4 million, or a ...read more

L.L. Bean shows interest in Eddie Bauer assets

Financial analysts speculated that when the Spiegel Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it would sell off its profitable Eddie Bauer division for much-needed cash. Now Portland, Maine-based, competitor L.L. Bean has knocked on the bankruptcy court's door asking to be kept ...read more

Outdoor financials: Eddie Bauer shares drop 50 percent on bankruptcy rumors, plus Quiksilver, Cabela's, Forzani

Eddie Bauer shares drop 50 percent on bankruptcy rumors Shares of Eddie Bauer Holdings (Nasdaq: EBHI) plunged 50 percent, falling $0.25 to close at $0.24, as rumors flew about a potential bankruptcy announcement. Various reports, including articles from Bloomberg News and the ...read more

LawReviewThumb.gif

Did you hear?... Caddell & Chapman files class action complaint against SIGG

SNEWS® has obtained a copy of a class action complaint filed on Aug. 28 in the United States District Court, Western District of Kentucky, against SIGG. The complaint, brought by Caddell & Chapman of Houston, Texas, seeks “to represent a nationwide class of consumers who ...read more