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Patagonia Lawsuit Slams ‘Goin’ Nowhere’ Beanies and Tees

Patagonia filed a trademark infringement complaint Monday against the licensed apparel wholesaler Mad Engine Global.

The lawsuit marked the outdoor retailer’s second in as many months aimed at a business it claims infringed upon its mountainside “P-6” logo. This time, however, Patagonia isn’t just targeting the apparel business of some internet troll, but a company that sells licensed clothing—its licensors include Marvel, Coca-Cola and NASA—to retailers like Target, Walmart and Amazon.

The complaint takes aim at a design sold by Mad Engine’s brand, Neff Headwear. Featured on beanies and shirts, the image features a silhouetted cityscape below a striped sky. The words “goin’ nowhere” are printed below in all lowercase letters in a font that appears to resemble the one Patagonia uses to spell its name on its own P-6 trademark.

The retailer claims Mad Engine’s design is “substantially similar” and “nearly identical” to its P-6 logo trademark, “only replacing the Patagonia word mark with ‘goin’ nowhere.’” The image features what appears to be rectangular buildings with lit windows, the silhouette of what looks like a nuclear power plant and a single triangle that could possibly be construed as a mountain. Patagonia’s P-6 mark features a series of ridges that together give the impression of a mountainside. Both are separated from a multi-colored, striped sky by a thin, white line.

According to Patagonia, the design has caused and will continue to cause confusion regarding the source of the product and whether Patagonia sponsored, licensed or authorized it. Given Neff Headwear has released product collaborations with “well-known brands” like Star Wars, Minecraft and Disney, “consumers undoubtedly will assume that the defendant’s designs are part of an authorized collaboration between Patagonia and defendant,” it concluded.

The "goin' nowhere" design sold by Neff Headwear features a cityscape against a striped sky
The “goin’ nowhere” design sold by Neff Headwear features a cityscape against a striped sky. Patagonia

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Patagonia alleges that Mad Engine’s actions have caused and will cause “irreparable harm for which money damages and other remedies are inadequate.” Beyond possibly confusing consumers and creating a false association, it argues the “Goin’ Nowhere” design also deprives it of control of its P-6 logo and dilutes its trademarks’ capacity to differentiate Patagonia products from those of its competitors.

The retailer accused Mad Engine of trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution and copyright infringement. It asked that the court enjoin the wholesaler from producing any goods that bear designs that “so resemble the Patagonia trademarks as to be likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception.” It also requested that Mad Engine be required to deliver its entire inventory of infringing products, any profits made from the goods and damages to Patagonia.

The lawsuit follows a March complaint that Patagonia filed against a group of LLCs doing business as Linda Finegold. The suit targets a line of products that recreated Patagonia’s mountainside logo—it appeared to copy and then mirror the design—but replaced the brand’s word mark with the phrase “patagof***yourself.” Underneath, the e-commerce site had printed its trademarked phrase “a**holes live forever.” The site sold shirts, hoodies, sweatpants and hats with the design. Linda Finegold, a likely fictional character, is presented as the business associate of Kirill Bichutsky, a controversial photographer and event organizer who acts as the face of