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Napapijri and Geographical Norway continue trademark dispute

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

8 Jul 2020

Napapijri, the premium leisurewear brand and subsidiary of VF, is claiming that it has successfully initiated legal proceedings to prohibit Geographical Norway from continuing to infringe on its trademarks.

For several years Geographical Norway, part of the French company Artextyl, has marketed products with signs that are highly similar to Napapijri’s trademarks, which include the Norwegian flag to distinguish the garments and bags belonging to its ‘Napapijri/Geographic’ collection.

In a statement, Napapijri stated that it had successfully requested the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) (Appeal Board) to cancel Artextyl’s EU trademark registrations for the ‘Geographical Norway’ mark.

Other legal proceedings to obtain an injunction against the infringing products of Geographical Norway is currently pending before the Paris Court.

In addition, Napapijri also sent out warning letters they state they will “actively oppose and fight all infringements on their Intellectual Property Rights” to protect their brand.

Update: Artextyl has rebutted Napapijri claims stating that the dispute concerning trademarks is still “ongoing” and that the EUIPO’s Board of Appeal’s decision isn’t final and that it is in the process of forming an appeal before the General Court of Justice of the European Union to convince the Court to "reconsider these invalidities”. The company added that the disputes before the EUIPO only concern the registration of the trademarks and not in how they are used, or the marketing of clothing and accessories under the Geographical Norway’s trademarks or signs. This means that no prohibition measures have been ordered by the Board of Appeal, and there hasn’t been any court decision prohibiting Artextyl from using Geographical Norway.

As well as forming an appeal to overturn the decision, Artextyl has also applied to the Paris Court to ban VF, under financial compulsion, to pursue the dissemination of denigrating and fake information concerning Artextyl and the trademarks Geographical Norway.

Italian premium casual-wear brand Napapijri is a subsidiary of VF and designs and produces casual apparel and sportswear for men, women, and children, including outerwear and footwear. The brand is distributed in more than 40 countries through a network of over 150 mono-brand stores and over 2,200 multibrand retailers.

Note: This article has been updated to include the statement from Artextyl following the press release from VF Corp.