As festival season approaches, festival lineups and tickets are already in the news, and, so are lawsuits. Recently LA Weekly reported that Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is suing Urban Outfitter for trademark infringement,
“Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services.”
Coachella claims that Free People has a number of items that have the name “Coachella” in it. We were unable to find specific items with Coachella in the name on the Free People website, but LA Times said that “Coachella Valley Tunic” was on their website, and that link/webpage is not longer active. Also, when you search Coachella on Freepeople.com, customers are shown a number of festival items. Though we understand the frustration, the search does seem to be fitting.
LA times reported that, “Coachella also says Urban Outfitters has purchased keyword advertisements from Google using the word “Coachella” that lead Google search results to a number of its products.”
The lawsuit says that a cease-and-desist letter was sent to Urban Outfitters in 2016.
We can see both sides of the story, so it will be interesting to see what happens. “Coachella” style has become a descriptor and norm for festival goers. But, Coachella is also a City in California, and we don’t think you can fully trademark a city’s name. Whatever happens, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is happening April 14-16 and April 21-23.
Will you be purchasing Urban Outfitters goods to put together your festival outfit?