An alert SNEWS® subscriber sent us the following note on Dec. 8:
"There I am this morning making my way through the hordes at Costco when I spy a sign over some clothing...Soft Shell Ladies Jackets from Black Diamond...Price? $27.99. Made in China -- all sizes, small through extra large. And they look like the real McCoy. Nicely tapered, superb stitching, all the tags looked authentic. Pretty nice.
In checking the BD website, I couldn't find anything in the line. So I'm wondering if there is a license deal or if someone is just using the brand name. I find it hard to believe that Black Diamond would unload inventory at Costco."
We checked in with Peter Metcalf, president of Black Diamond Equipment, who told SNEWS®, "Your subscriber is correct…it is not Black Diamond Equipment apparel." Metcalf said he assumed that the product was made by Black Diamond Sportswear.
"As it stands, both companies can use the Black Diamond brand name on clothing," he added. "However, Black Diamond Sportswear claimed in its legal papers that it only makes fleece products so we have asked the Trademark Office to limit their mark to fleece products only. It would also seem to me that BDS should clearly differentiate their mark from ours. It is a company's business obligation to ensure that the consumer knows what he is getting and where it comes from."
Black Diamond Equipment recently won a protracted court battle with Black Diamond Sportswear over rights to the Black Diamond name. Click here to read our Nov. 19, 2007, story.