Coachella Is Suing Urban Outfitters for Using The Festival's Name To Sell Tunics And Boots
You would think that Coachella and Urban Outfitters exist in a kind of symbiotic relationship. Festival-goers want to look their quasi-bohemian best, and so they shop at the retail chain before hitting up Indio. Once there, they effectively become walking billboards for the apparel store. It's all a feedback loop in which both parties win. Right?
It looks like the relationship isn't so cozy, however, as Women's Wear Daily reports that Coachella has filed a lawsuit against Urban Outfitters, saying that the retail chain has used the festival's brand to hawk clothes online. The products are being sold on Free People, an affiliate of Urban Outffitters Inc. Items in question include a “Coachella Valley Tunic" and a “Coachella Pocket Tank.” It seems that, on the Free People site, mentions of Coachella (as well as the aforementioned items) have been dropped in light of the lawsuit, but you'll still be directed to items like the "Festival Feels Slip" and the "Festival Survival Kit" when you search up the term "Coachella."
Coachella has its own line of branded goods. As such, the lawsuit adds that Urban Outfitters's tactics lead to confusion on search engines, and in turn "misdirect consumers." “[A] Google search for ‘Coachella clothing’ results in an advertisement for Defendants’ infringing goods,” Goldenvoice, the parent company of Coachella, said in its complaint.
Furthermore, the lawsuit says that this "was not the first time” Coachella had to “make such demands” of Urban Outfitters. In fact, the retail chain has been assailed with copyright infringement claims from other companies like Harley-Davidson, as well as a textile company called Unicolors, Inc., according to Forbes. Urban Outfitters has faced so much litigation that it sued its own insurers, saying that the insurance company didn't pony up enough money to cover the retailer's court battles.
Coachella isn't above lending their name for commerce, however, notes Refinery29. H&M, which has a whole line called "H&M Loves Coachella," has permission to stamp their products with the festival's name. The Sweden-based chain has it all figured out too; the collection's website includes instructive lines such as, "For the ultimate in festival style, there’s the essential hoodie and also a metallic anorak, plus a black body suit with an open-laced back." and, "For men, it’s about the perfect tie-dye T-shirt with matching tie-dye drawstring shorts."