It’s been a couple months since we last heard of the court battle between Saturdays Surf NYC and Kate Spade's new line, Kate Spade Saturday. To get you up to speed, here's how these two brands ended up in court:
Kate Spade decided to launch a lower-priced line and call it Kate Spade Saturday. Saturdays Surf NYC was ticked off because the women's line—even though it's geared towards a different demographic—could cause confusion and overlap with the surf-inspired brand's own collections. Saturdays Surf's strong arguments: the two brands are similar in name, they're both in the business of selling clothes, and the logo fonts are eerily similar.
However, it was Kate Spade who made the first move in the court filings. The women’s lifestyle brand wanted to clear up and make sure that it didn’t infringe upon Saturdays Surf NYC’s trademark. “We explained our complete good faith in the selection of the name, described the Kate Spade Saturday concept to them and why consumers will not be confused and offered to answer any additional questions they may have,” says Kate Spade CEO Craig Levitt.
Makes sense to us. "Saturday" is already one of seven days of the week. It's not like the Roman god of agriculture wishes death to the dudes of the surf brand/coffee shop once a week. It's obvious that people will be able to differentiate the two brands.
Well, Saturdays Surf NYC still wasn't having any of this and filed a counterclaim for trademark infringement, and demanded Kate Spade to cancel the launch.
Fast forward to today. Despite the many similarities between the two brands, the court ruled in favor of Kate Spade. Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum concluded that “Saturdays Surf NYC has not shown a likelihood of confusion by a preponderance of the credible evidence. I am particularly persuaded by the relative weakness of the word that the two marks share, the significant distance between the men’s and women’s products, and the consistent inclusion of the famous house mark, Kate Spade, in its Kate Spade Saturday mark.”
Saturdays Surf NYC still does not agree with ruling and “believes that confusion already exists in the marketplace with all of the similarities between both brands, and will only become more of a problem as Kate Spade Saturday increases its advertising presence around the globe.” The men's brand is currently weighing its options and is looking to file an appeal. After looking at both brands’ logos above, what do you think about the whole situation?