Hanesbrands sues NY apparel maker for unauthorized use of Champion trademark

HanesBrands has sued NY-based Maxima Apparel Corp for trademark infringement of its Champion brand, calling Maxima's alleged knockoffs the result of a "parasitic business model."


The trademarked Champion "C" appears in a Hudson Outerwear t-shirt - Instagram: @hudsonouterwearnyc

In the lawsuit filed Wednesday in NY federal court, HanesBrands and its subsidiary, HBI Branded Apparel Enterprises LLC, accused Maxima-owned Hudson Outerwear Inc., Maxima Apparel Corp. and two Maxima affiliates of violating the Champion trademark.

The crux of the case is a line of tees and fleece made my Maxima that uses the stylized "C" from what Hanes argues is its registered Champion mark. Maxima uses the C and its likeness to spell words including "Chapo" and "Gangster."

The complaint argues that Maxima used the trademarked "C" with "utter and total disregard” of the fact that it was a registered mark. Hanes alleges the use was a "deliberate effort to trade on [Champion’s] fame and goodwill and to damage the valuable trademark rights.”

Hanes allegedly discovered Maxima's use of the trademark in July of 2017 and wrote a cease and desist letter to stop Maxima from continuing to sell the product. Maxima allegedly agreed to pull the product from the market, but instead continued selling the styles.

The lawsuit comes as Champion is experiencing a revival. Selena Gomez, the Jenners, Kardashians and Kanye West have all recently helped bring the heritage brand back into the social media discussion.

Defendant Hudson Outerwear frequently plays off the parody concept. A quick scan of its Instagram reveals parodies of Bape, Supreme, and Thrasher in product that is not officially related to those brands and marks.

While no response has been filed yet to the lawsuit, it is likely that Hudson and Maxima will resort to the parody defense that would potentially allow them to continue selling their product.
 

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