TORONTO - Canada Goose is taking Sears to court, accusing the department store of selling knock-offs of its highly distinctive winter coats.
Sears Canada Inc. (TSX:SCC), which the maker of the ubiquitous parka describes in a lawsuit as a retailer of "low to mid-quality" clothing, is passing off one of their jackets as a Canada Goose Inc. item, the coat company alleges.
"(Sears) is intentionally seeking to mislead consumers and potential consumers into believing that they are purchasing a 'lower-end' Canada Goose jacket that is intended for sale at Sears," Canada Goose writes in its statement of claim.
"Canada Goose is aware of at least one instance of actual confusion, where a consumer saw the Sears jacket and believed it to be a Canada Goose jacket, or a 'misleading knock-off' and subsequently complained to Canada Goose."
The company is asking Federal Court to order Sears to stop selling the coats that it says resemble its "Kensington" coat, a red three-quarter length coat with a fur-trimmed hood.
Sears has not yet filed a response in court to the trademark infringement lawsuit filed this week, but a spokesman said the company considers the lawsuit to be "frivolous" and "without merit."
"Our brand is quite distinct from theirs and there is no confusion between the two whatsoever," Vincent Power wrote in a statement.
"There are quite a few brands out there that use their logo in a circle and Canada Goose cannot claim it invented that."
Canada Goose is also accusing Sears of selling another brand of jackets it says violates its trademarks. The Weather Gear jackets, sold in "close proximity" to the Sears jackets, also have a circular logo on the upper shoulder of the jacket sleeves, like Canada Goose apparel, the lawsuit alleges.
Canada Goose sued International Clothiers Inc. last year, alleging it intentionally designed a logo and positioned it on jackets to mimic the Canada Goose Arctic Program design trademark.
The lawsuit was later settled on undisclosed terms.
Canada Goose bills itself in the lawsuit as a "Canadian success story."
"The Canada Goose trademarks, and in particular, the circular Canada Goose Arctic Program and Design trademark...have become very well-known across Canada and are distinctive exclusively of the high-quality clothing products that
Its jackets "have come to enjoy enormous consumer recognition in Canada and abroad," the company says in the lawsuit.
Canada Goose writes in the lawsuit that it has sold more than $225 million in coats and accessories — more than 600,000 items — across Canada since 2005, though it used the same figures in the International Clothiers lawsuit, filed in January 2012.