The US court in New York has granted an injunction against the sneaker platform Goat. The successful plaintiff is the UK fashion company GOAT Fashion.
The legal dispute between Goat Fashion and the sneaker platform Goat has been smouldering for years. The sneaker platform Goat was founded in 2015 and is owned by 1661 Inc, who unsuccessfully tried to protect a GOAT brand in the USA in connection with their online marketplace. Goat Fashion had successfully asserted that they owned trademark rights on clothing for Goat in the USA, the US Trademark Office refused to register the trademark of 1661 Inc.
As a result, the two parties had reached an agreement in 2017 and agreed to the trademark rights listed there. In this consent agreement, 1661 Inc. agreed to sell trainers and not clothes or clothing accessories in order to obtain a GOAT trademark registration for its online marketplace for trainers.
Sneaker Platform Goat wanted to sell goat clothing
Then in July 2019, 1661 asked GOAT Fashion for permission to sell clothing on their marketplace platform. However, the British fashion company refused to do so, citing the likelihood of confusion.
The dispute escalated because 1661 Inc. nevertheless started selling clothes on their app from October 2019. GOAT Fashion then filed a lawsuit in the US court (the Southern District of New York), which has now been decided in its favour (Goat Fashion Limited v. 1661, Inc., No. 1:2019cv11045).
The US court confirmed the likelihood of confusion between the marks and also explicitly mentioned the good reputation of the UK fashion brand GOAT, which could no longer be controlled by the US platform Goat for the British fashion company; the fashion brand Goat Fashion has even been worn by the British Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.
In addition, GOAT Fashion claimed that 1661 Inc. acted in bad faith by confusing the brand with the high reputation of UK Goat Fashion. However, the New York court rejected this. Goat Fashion has not provided any evidence that 1661 acted in bad faith in the acquisition of its brand, the U.S. court held.
The Court therefore issued an interim injunction against the Goat sneaker platform in relation to the GOAT Fashion brand.
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