Orange County Trademark Attorney® Blog

Nordstrom Seeks To Shut Down Web Retailer's Use Of "Rack" Trademark

October 22, 2012

hanger.jpg Orange County - Clothing retail giant Nordstrom Inc. filed a new trademark infringement complaint against a web retailer in Seattle federal court on Friday over alleged cybersquatting and unauthorized use of Nordstrom's "Rack" trademark for discount clothing sales.

NoMoreRack Retail Group Inc. and NoMoreRack.com Inc. have willfully misappropriated, diluted and damaged Nordstrom's federally registered trademarks for the terms "Rack," "The Rack" and "Nordstrom Rack," Nordstrom's complaint says.

Nordstrom, one of the nation's leading fashion apparel retailers, launched a new store 40 years ago known as Nordstrom Rack, which the company claims has become "one of the most successful concepts in retailing today." Rack offers clothing, accessories and other consumer goods at deeply discounted prices, and has become a $2 billion per year enterprise, according to Nordstrom.

NoMoreRack, meanwhile, has sought to wrongly profit from Nordstrom's substantial investment in the trademarks by using the business name "No More Rack" and operating the domain names NoMoreRack.com and FriendRack.com, Nordstrom says.

The NoMoreRack website offers products that directly compete with those offered by Nordstrom under its Rack trademarks, the complaint says. FriendRack points to a page on the NoMoreRack site offering rewards to customers who refer friends to NoMoreRack.

"NoMoreRack seeks simultaneously to trade off of the goodwill the Rack marks have come to enjoy among customers, and to reduce the value of that goodwill by improperly associating Nordstrom and the Rack marks with goods and services from unrelated sources," Nordstrom says.

"As a result, the Rack marks' hard-won reputation for high quality merchandise and outstanding customer service is being diluted, the value of Nordstrom's trademarks is being diminished, and customers are being misled and confused," it says.

The NoMoreRack site represents a new type of off-price retail concept, known as a "flash sale" website, according to Nordstrom. Flash sale sites generally offer a particular set of goods at deep discounts, but only for short periods of time.

Nordstrom promptly put NoMoreRack on notice that its name infringes the Rack trademarks as soon as it learned of NoMoreRack's site earlier this year, but NoMoreRack continues to refuse to comply with Nordstrom's demands that it stop using the trademark or any variation, the complaint says.