YETI Sues Walmart Again, Proving It Is Not Messing Around
If you thought the trend of YETI Coolers suing other companies was over, buckle up, because we've got a real clash of the retail titans here. We're talking two litigious household names duking it out in the court of, well, law.
Remember when YETI sued Walmart for selling beverage insulators that were too similar to its products? Well, you might have thought that was over, but the ever-litigious YETI Coolers, always careful to protect its intellectual property for its wildly popular outdoor products, is suing Walmart once again, after it alleged that Walmart didn't take necessary action to resolve the matter.
On Dec. 8, YETI Coolers filed a lawsuit against Walmart stores in Bentonville, Ark., claiming that they infringed on YETI's intellectual property related to its beverage holders, therefore violating a settlement agreement from previous litigation.
After YETI's Rambler Tumbler and Rambler Colster Beverage Holders have become so popular in the retail market, YETI alleges that its trade dress not only covers its brand name and product names, but also the appearance and design of curves, tapers and lines in its products, according to IP Watchdog.
Walmart had been selling products that YETI felt were too similar to its products, which were the subject of previous intellectual property litigation. In this current lawsuit, YETI claimed that Walmart is still promoting and marketing products that infringe on its copyrights, violating the previous settlement they reached.
IP Watchdog writes:
YETI’s complaint includes images of the infringing products themselves as well as a screenshot of an online Walmart store advertising a “Yeti Black Stainless Steel Tumbler.” Side-by-side image comparisons of the original and infringing products show that the products sold by Wal-Mart include “YETI”-shaped indentations as well as labels which are very similar to those covered by YETI’s federal copyrights.
The lawsuit includes a total of 16 counts—the first being the breach of the original settlement, which Walmart did by continuing to sell the products and by neglecting to provide notices to YETI that validated its compliance with the settlement, which it was obligated to do by Nov. 15. Nine claims target trade dress and trademark violations, and other individual counts cover copyright infringement, patent infringement, unfair competition, misappropriation and unjust enrichment.