Victoria's Secret sued for 'SWEAT' trademark and choosing model who looks like SWEAT founder

Victoria's Secret sued for 'SWEAT' trademark and choosing model who looks like SWEAT founder

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Health and fitness company, IFIT has sued Victoria's Secret in the Utah federal court for allegedly copying its trademark. IFIT is claiming that the American lingerie retailer is using its "SWEAT marks" on or in connection with exercise apparel and related services in its complaint filed in the US District Court for the District of Utah's Central Division on 10 November.

IFIT said the company has been using the SWEAT trademark "since as early as 2017" on a variety of fitness related products and services, including apparel. In addition, the SWEAT trademark was used on its downloadable app that provides steamed workout to subscribers throughout the United States and all around the world.

In addition to copying the trademark, IFIT accused Victoria's Secret had "purposefully" chosen a Kayla Itsines look-alike model (pictured right) when advertising for its goods. Itsines (pictured left) is an Australian personal trainer and has SWEAT's app founder. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Victoria Secret for a comment regarding the allegation. 

The documents claimed the Victoria Secret's use of Itsines look-alike is likely to further encourage the likelihood of confusion caused by Victoria Secret's SWEAT Marks, and the information and belief demonstrates Victoria Secret's intent to trade on the reputation of the IFIT and SWEAT brand, said the complaint. IFIT added in the complaint that the use of the SWEAT trademark is likely to "cause confusion, mistake and deception among consumers and customers". In fact, IFIT is requesting to the Court for "all labels signs, prints, packages, wrappers, receptacles, pictures, websites and advertisements" that bear the trademark to be destroyed.

Meanwhile, Victoria Secret's parent company L Brands has officially spilt into two companies, Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works. The parent company previously considered of spinning off the American lingerie retailer to its shareholder instead of selling the brand in May this year.  However, L Brands concluded at that time that separating Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works into two separate public companies would provide shareholders with more value than a sale. .

Power up your PR and communications efforts today with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's PR Asia Week on 1 and 2 December. Learn ways to build an evidence-based practice, up the ante on your strategies, and be head and shoulders above your competition. Click here to register today! 

Related articles:
Victoria's Secret Fashion Show gets axed to 'evolve marketing' of the brand
L Brands strips off Victoria's Secret as standalone biz despite sales increase from 2020

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