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American Eagle Outfitters files lawsuit against Payless ShoeSource

26
Apr '07
American Eagle Outfitters Inc announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Payless ShoeSource Inc to preserve the integrity of its popular youth-oriented lifestyle AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS brand and to prevent consumer confusion arising from Payless' use of the AMERICAN EAGLE footwear mark it purportedly acquired from Jimlar Corporation ("Jimlar") last year.

Since 1977, American Eagle Outfitters has developed a well-known and successful brand by selling high-quality apparel, footwear and accessories under a family of marks including AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS, AMERICAN EAGLE, AEO, AE, at more than 900 American Eagle Outfitters retail stores and through its website.

For over two decades, AEO and Jimlar, a shoe wholesaler, co-existed without customer confusion. Now, however, AEO contends that Payless, a discount shoe chain, is deceiving consumers by portraying itself as the owner of "the youth fashion brand American Eagle" and indicating that it is selling genuine AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS merchandise when in fact it is not.

Additionally, Payless is marketing AMERICAN EAGLE shoes and accessories with advertising and promotional materials that copy the look and feel of AEO's distinctive marketing style and falsely claiming to be the exclusive source of AMERICAN EAGLE and AE "women's," "men's" and "accessories," which has resulted in consumer confusion as to the relationship between Payless and AEO.


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