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Saturday, September 23, 2023
Sept. 23, 2023

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Patagonia accuses Nordstrom of selling counterfeit items at the Rack


SEATTLE — Patagonia is suing Nordstrom for committing trademark infringement by allegedly selling “thousands” of counterfeit Patagonia merchandise items at Nordstrom Rack stores after a yearslong partnership ended.

The federal lawsuit, filed Tuesday in a California district court, alleges Nordstrom Rack sold sweatshirts and T-shirts with Patagonia logos and tags that were not made by Patagonia. The lawsuit did not state how many Rack stores allegedly sold the counterfeit items.

“Patagonia brought this problem to Nordstrom’s attention and requested that the company voluntarily recall the products or reimburse customers,” the lawsuit stated. “Nordstrom has failed to recall these fake, mislabeled Patagonia-branded products (or even inform its customers that they purchased counterfeits of inferior fabrication and quality).”

A Nordstrom spokesperson said Monday that the retailer is aware of the lawsuit and reviewing the matter. The Puget Sound Business Journal was first to report the lawsuit.

Nordstrom was an authorized retailer of Ventura, Calif.-based Patagonia for several years, but recently Patagonia decided not to renew the agreement, according to the lawsuit. Patagonia did not respond to inquiries about when or why it decided not to renew the agreement. Nordstrom continued selling the clothes already in stock.

Nordstrom “began selling counterfeit Patagonia products at Nordstrom Rack stores shortly after the end of the yearslong dealer relationship between Patagonia and Nordstrom,” according to the suit.

The Seattle-based retailer has 243 Nordstrom Rack locations in the U.S. The Rack has been a source of sluggish performance for the retailer. In the latest quarter, reported Wednesday, Nordstrom Rack sales decreased 12 percent compared with the same quarter last year. The company reported a net loss of $205 million in the quarter and overall sales decreased 11.6 percent compared with the same period a year ago.

The Patagonia lawsuit also stated that the quality of the garments was lower, and some were falsely labeled as made of organic cotton or “Fair Trade Certified.”

Patagonia is seeking up to $150,000 for each work infringed.