Two heavyweights in the branded apparel business are poised for a clash in court. Hanesbrands Inc. (asi/59528) has sued Gildan Activewear (asi/56842), alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition. Filed December 5 in federal court in North Carolina, the Hanes suit requests a jury trial.
The suit claims that Montreal-based Gildan’s Tempfx brand for moisture-control apparel products infringes on Hanesbrands’ trademark by being “identical” to the garments the Winston-Salem, NC-based company sells in its X-Temp line. Hanesbrands maintains that it began marketing X-Temp products in July 2012 and that it received a trademark in August 2013.
In the complaint, Hanesbrands says that Gildan entered the U.S. market with Tempfx in early 2014 and unfairly benefited from consumer awareness sparked by X-Temp in shared distribution channels. As a result, Hanesbrands is asking the federal court to enjoin Gildan from using the Tempfx trademark. The apparel provider is also demanding damages and an accounting of Gildan profits from use of the trademark.
Matt Hall, vice president/chief communications officer at Hanesbrands, says the company feels the lawsuit speaks for itself and that Hanes does not have additional comment. Stéphanie Gaucher, a corporate communications manager at Gildan, provided the following statement to Counselor: “While we deny the allegations stated in this proceeding, out of respect for the standard litigation process, we cannot comment nor discuss this pending lawsuit.”
The sparring between Hanesbrands and Gildan began prior to this month’s lawsuit filing. Last year, Gildan started seeking a trademark for Tempfx. Hanesbrands has filed an official objection to that request.