Utah Apparel Company Sues L.L. Bean Over Trademark Dispute

Oct 6, 2017

A Salt Lake City clothing company is suing L.L. Bean, saying the Maine retailer’s latest ad campaign, “Be An Outsider,” is a trademark violation.

KÜHL filed suit against the iconic Maine outdoor clothing and goods maker on Oct. 2, alleging unauthorized use of KÜHL trademark “The Outsider.” The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah Central Division under KÜHL’s former name, Alfwear, against L.L. Bean at its Lewiston location.

KÜHL said in a statement that it owns all rights, title and interest for “The Outsider” mark, which was registered in June of 2015 for rugged outdoor clothing and other items. The $200 million company said it sells about one million pair of its pants annually, including “The Outsider” style.

The lawsuit said the company asked L.L. Bean in writing to cease and desist using the “outsider” name because confusion over the names could cause financial damage to KÜHL.

L.L. Bean spokeswoman Carolyn Beem said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

“However, we firmly believe we are well within our legal rights to use the call to action Be An Outsider, and look forward to resolving this issue,” she said.

L.L. Bean CEO and President Stephen Smith at the September meeting would not comment on how much the $1.61 billion company spent on its new ad campaign. He also would not discuss future sales goals.

This story appears through a media sharing agreement with Bangor Daily News.