Target was hit with a federal lawsuit earlier this month, with a Georgia woman claiming the retail juggernaut ripped off her company’s name and brand despite being warned about trademark infringement beforehand.
And while it may be the latest such case against Target, it's far from the only one: The retailer has contended with similar accusations from the likes of Burberry and "Duck Dynasty."
In the most recent court filings against Target, Garnish & Gather founder Emily Golub claims the retail giant stole her company’s logo, name and products when launching its Good and Gather food line in September.
Golub, who trademarked her company’s name and likeness in 2014 after starting the business a year earlier, argues that the names are far too similar and will likely confuse consumers, even sending Target a notice of trademark infringement a month before the September launch of its food brand, available at more than 1,800 locations nationwide, according to USA Today.
Golub's Garnish & Gather brand was created to directly connect consumers with everything from chefs to locally grown and sourced foods in the Atlanta area, while also selling meal kits and prepared foods, the outlet reported. Target’s iteration follows an almost identical business model, designed to increase sales and differentiate Target from other mega-retail outlet competition.
Like Golub’s brand, Good & Gather sells items from pre-packaged salads to cheese, frozen fruit, fresh produce and vegetables.
In fact, Golub claims she herself discovered 40 to 50 products on Good and Gather's website that were identical to items found from Garnish & Gather, while also pointing out the two companies use the same leaf design for their respective logos.
“To me, there are too many coincidences here for this to not have inspired the design of their brand," Golub said, according to USA Today. "It was very upsetting when we first found out about this. To take our brand is taking everything we have built."
According to Target spokeswoman Danielle Schumann, the company has a "deep appreciation and respect for trademarks."
"We’re aware of this lawsuit and are confident that Target’s brands, including Good & Gather, are distinctive in the marketplace," Schumann wrote in a statement obtained by USA Today. "We’ve shared that feedback with Garnish & Gather and will continue to defend these claims through the legal process."
In 2017, the iconic British fashion line Burberry sent a cease-and-desist letter to Target “regarding the sale of several different products bearing unauthorized reproductions of the BURBERRY CHECK Trademark,” according to court documents obtained by Fortune.
Target ignored that letter and the case went to court, with the lawsuit eventually being dismissed after a settlement.
The retailer found itself in yet another trademark infringement case in 2014 over a "Duck Dynasty" shirt emblazoned with the phrase “My Favorite Color is Camo,” according to The Wrap. That phrase turned out to have been trademarked in 2011 by Florida company Hajn, a year before "Duck Dynasty" debuted on A&E.
Golub revealed that the retailer attempted to give her "tens of thousands of dollars" to work with Target on search engine optimization for Garnish & Gather, an opportunity which she says she turned down.
"I don’t need that," she told USA Today. "I need to preserve my brand."
Golub’s complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan on Nov. 8, is seeking a temporary restraining order in an effort to stop Target from selling products under the Good & Gather brand name, according to USA Today. In the meantime, Target’s legal team has filed a motion to move the case to the company’s home base in Minnesota.