Claim Charges Payless with Creating False and Misleading Impression That
Payless Is Selling Genuine American Eagle Outfitters Merchandise
WARRENDALE, PA., April 20 /CNW/ - American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
(NYSE: AEO) today announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Payless
ShoeSource, Inc. to preserve the integrity of its popular youth-oriented
lifestyle AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS(R) 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(R), AMERICAN
EAGLE(R), AEO(R), AE(R), at more than 900 American Eagle Outfitters retail
stores and through its website, www.ae.com. 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(R)" 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. Without relief from the Court, AEO contends, consumers will continue to
be confused, and Payless will continue to unfairly benefit from the commercial
value of the AEO brand. Through this action, AEO seeks an order requiring
Payless to take specific steps to eliminate the misleading impression that it
is selling genuine American Eagle Outfitters merchandise.
"Our most valuable asset is our brand. We are committed to providing only
high-quality, authentic merchandise to our loyal customers," said American
Eagle Outfitters' Vice President and General Counsel, Neil Bulman, Jr. "The
mounting public confusion that Payless created has compelled us to take this
action. As always, we will vigorously protect our brand as a leading lifestyle
destination for 15-25 year olds."
The suit was filed in United States District Court Eastern District of
About American Eagle Outfitters:
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO) is a leading retailer that
operates under the American Eagle Outfitters and MARTIN + OSA brands.
American Eagle Outfitters designs, markets and sells its own brand of
laidback, current clothing targeting 15 to 25 year-olds, providing
high-quality merchandise at affordable prices. AE's original collection
includes standards like jeans and graphic Ts as well as essentials like
accessories, outerwear, footwear, basics and swimwear. American Eagle
currently operates 834 stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia and
Puerto Rico, and 73 AE stores in Canada. American Eagle also operates ae.com,
which offers additional sizes and styles of favorite AE merchandise and ships
around the world. The American Eagle brand also includes a new collection of
dormwear and intimates, "aerie by American Eagle." aerie is available in
American Eagle stores across the country and at aerie.com. It includes bras,
undies, camis, hoodies, robes, boxers, sweats and leggings for the AE girl.
Designed to be sweetly sexy, comfortable and cozy, aerie offers AE customers a
new way to express their personal style everyday, from the dormroom to the
coffee shop to the classroom.
The company introduced MARTIN + OSA, a new sportswear concept targeting
25 to 40 year-old women and men. MARTIN + OSA carries apparel, accessories and
footwear, using denim and sport inspiration to design fun and sport back into
sportswear. MARTIN + OSA currently operates eight stores. For additional
information and updates, visit martinandosa.com.
For further information:
For further information: Kilpatrick Stockton LLP Lisa Pearson,