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 Original Outdoor Clothing Co.," which Woolrich has used in commerce since 1997 on its garments, in catalogs and in advertising.
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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 Original Outdoor Clothing Co.," which Woolrich has used in commerce since 1997 on its garments, in catalogs and in advertising. John Rich & Sons Investment Holding Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Woolrich that owns rights to this trademark, among others, and licenses its use to Woolrich.

In court documents, Woolrich contends that Eddie Bauer's use of the "Original Outdoor Outfitter" mark in October 2008 is "confusingly similar" and that Eddie Bauer is "attempting to trade off JRS's mark," causing confusion in the market. Woolrich also points out in court documents that Eddie Bauer's attempt to register the "Original Outdoor Outfitter" mark was first rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office because of a "likelihood of confusion with JRS's registered trademark." Eddie Bauer appealed.

Woolrich goes on to allege in its lawsuit: "Although the USPTO's disposition of Defendant's Applications is not yet final, Defendant's adoption and continued use of the offending mark, which use continues as of today, clearly evidences knowledge and, thus, willful and intentional infringement of JRS's registered mark."

The court documents also allege that Eddie Bauer "paid for a ranking with Yahoo.com's keyword advertising service under which the subscriber (the Defendant) designates 'keyword(s)' related to its products. When a web searcher types the subscriber's designated 'keyword' into the Yahoo! Search box, the subscriber's advertisement appears."

Woolrich is seeking unspecified damages and an injunction to stop Eddie Bauer from using the mark.

--Michael Hodgson

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