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Target in trademark dispute with small business

Target, one of the biggest and most popular big-box store in the country is facing a lawsuit from a small business owner. Emily Golub, an entrepreneur from Georgia, accuses Target of infringing her trademark through the launch of its Good & Gather food brand in September 2019. Golub is the owner of Garnish & Gather, an Atlanta-based company that promotes local foods, meal kits, and prepared items developed by local chefs. She says that the name of Target’s line is too similar to that of her company and could lead to serious confusion in terms of brand recognition among consumers. Golub’s complaint against Target seeks a temporary restraining order to prohibit the sale of food and beverage products bearing the Good & Gather label.

The Georgia woman trademarked her business name in 2014. She says that she approached Target in August 2019, prior to the nationwide rollout of the brand in September, to notify Target with her claim for trademark infringement. However, the large retail company proceeded to introduce its Good & Gather products at 1,800 stores nationwide. Golub’s owner claims that there are as many as 50 products that closely overlap between her line Garnish & Gather and Target’s Good & Gather. The Target brand of 650 products includes prepared deli items, bagged salad, cheeses, side meals, frozen fruit, chips and fresh vegetables, among other items. The Georgia business owner also noted that both Garnish & Gather’s and Good &Gather’s logos display leaf-inspired lettering, which could further contribute to consumer confusion.

The Georgia businessowner said that there were too many similarities for the names to be a coincidence. Although Garnish &Gather is presently profitable, Golub fears that her small business would be limited in growth because it cannot compete with the massive resources of Target’s Good & Gather. In a media statement, a Target spokesperson responded that they feel confident the company’s brand is distinctive and non-infringing.

Intellectual property can be one of the most important assets for any company, but this is especially true for a small business or startup. Business owners who want to protect their rights can contact the Wang IP Law Group for protection of their trademarks and copyrights through intellectual property litigation.