Patagonia Fights Back Against Amazon & Resellers With New Lawsuit.
Patagonia recently filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Kimberly McHugh, a third-party seller, for them using the brand name and its “Fitz Roy” logo to, sell “ large quantities of Patagonia-branded merchandise online through multiple retail platforms, including Amazon.com.” McHugh is reportedly selling authentic Patagonia products on her Amazon store, Our Little Corner, a grey market shop. Unfortunately, neither McHugh nor Amazon are considered authorized dealers and haven’t received consent from Patagonia to sell its products.
Our Little Corner doesn’t have a contractual obligation to Patagonia. So the shop can markup the products whenever they’d like. The lawsuit cites one instance, particularly where a Men’s “Nano Puff” jacket, which retails on Patagonia’s site as well as other authorized dealers for $199, was being sold for $272 on Our Little Corner’s store. The lawsuit also claims that McHugh uses “several tactics to portray [Our Little Corner] as an authorized Patagonia dealer to consumers,” such as using Patagonia’s official product and brand imagery, as well as keeping a large stock and size range for each style on the deck. Patagonia stated that these markups combined with the false facade as an authorized dealer will make customers “believe [the prices] originate from Patagonia.”
Patagonia also claims that through her large inventory and markups, McHugh is also illegally inspiring authorized Patagonia dealers to cancel their contracts, which forbid them to sell to any resellers. Patagonia is particularly unpleased about its products being sold on Amazon, stating that the conglomerate offers a “materially different service and product experience than is represented by the Patagonia trademark.” Since material differences including price and warranty exist between Our Little Corner’s Patagonia products and ones sold through the brand itself, Patagonia currently has a fair chance in winning this battle against third-party sellers.