Canadian outerwear manufacturer Canada Goose Inc. is suing a competitor for trademark infringement, accusing it of making shoddy replicas of the distinctive Canada Goose parkas.
The lawsuit alleges that International Clothiers Inc., which is owned by Fairweather, has intentionally designed a logo and positioned it on jackets to mimic the Canada Goose Arctic Program design trademark.
Canada Goose is calling on International Clothiers to stop what it calls deceptive trade practices, including publishing print ads promoting its jackets as "Canada Goose products, which they are not." But International Clothiers has allegedly done nothing more than apologize and doesn't dissuade customers from thinking they are buying Canada Goose coats.
Canada Goose filed a statement of claim late last month asking the Federal Court to stop International Clothiers from using its Canada Weather Gear and Super Triple Goose logos, "or any confusingly similar mark," which it says is very similar to its own distinctive circular logo.
That circular logo is what distinguishes a Canada Goose jacket from others, the company says.
"Canada Goose prides itself on, and has become known for, designing and manufacturing its clothing products in Canada, and ensuring that they are of the highest quality," the company writes in the statement of claim.
International Clothiers has been selling coats since December 2009 that, according to Canada Goose, feature not only a similar logo to Canada Goose, positioned in the same area of the right sleeve, but also several other similarities, including the look of the pockets.
"All of which make it highly reminiscent of a Canada Goose jackets, but of inferior quality," the company says. "While Canada Goose is a 'Canadian success story,'" the claim says, International Clothiers "is a manufacturer and retailer of low to mid-quality clothing products," most of which aren't made in Canada, the outerwear company alleges.
The allegations have not been proven in court. A statement of defence has not yet been filed, and International Clothiers could not be reached for comment.
Canada Goose isn't yet claiming a specific amount in damages, as it writes in the lawsuit that so far only International Clothiers knows how much money has been made from the alleged infringement.
Canada Goose itself has sold more than $225 million in coats and accessories — more than 600,000 items — across Canada since 2005, court documents say. The products are sold in more than 200 retail outlets across the country, and the company says it has spent $2 million since 2005 marketing Canada Goose products in North America.
Canada Goose alleges that International Clothiers' jacket called Super Triple Goose is in itself a misnomer. An independent laboratory analyzed the filling and found that goose feathers and down constitute about one per cent of the material, the bulk of which was actually duck feathers and down.
Canada Goose has long been warning consumers of counterfeit or shoddily made copycats of its jackets. The company has a section on its website devoted to copyright awareness, which contains a list of more than 1,000 websites where counterfeit Canada Goose jackets have been sold.