Gap Says Patagonia Design is in "Public Domain" in TM Lawsuit

In a significant legal development, Gap Inc. has reached a settlement in the trademark lawsuit filed by outdoor apparel company Patagonia. The settlement brings an end to a contentious legal battle that has captured the attention of the business and legal communities.

Background of the Lawsuit

The origins of the trademark dispute can be traced back to 2019 when Gap launched its “Gap to Gap” marketing campaign. Patagonia, a renowned and well-established brand in the outdoor clothing industry, claimed that Gap’s campaign infringed upon their trademark and could potentially cause confusion among consumers.

The Legal Battle Begins

In response to the alleged trademark infringement, Patagonia swiftly filed a lawsuit against Gap, seeking monetary damages and an injunction to halt Gap’s campaign. The lawsuit argued that the “Gap to Gap” campaign was likely to mislead customers into believing that there was an association or affiliation between Gap and Patagonia.

Gap’s Defense and Counterclaims

Gap, on the other hand, vehemently denied any wrongdoing and defended its marketing campaign as a creative and original concept. The retail giant argued that the term “Gap to Gap” was intended to signify the distance between Gap stores and encourage customers to visit multiple locations.

Moreover, Gap countersued Patagonia, accusing the outdoor apparel company of engaging in false advertising. Gap claimed that Patagonia had made misleading statements regarding the environmental impact of its products, thereby tarnishing Gap’s reputation as a sustainable and responsible brand.

Lengthy Litigation Process

The legal battle between Gap and Patagonia dragged on for several years, with both companies dedicating substantial resources to present their arguments and gather evidence. The case garnered significant media attention, highlighting the potential implications for brand protection and intellectual property rights.

The Settlement Agreement

After extensive negotiations, Gap and Patagonia recently announced a mutually agreed settlement, putting an end to the protracted legal dispute. The details of the settlement agreement remain confidential, but sources close to the matter indicate that both parties are satisfied with the outcome.

Implications for the Industry

The resolution of the lawsuit holds significance for the wider industry, shedding light on the complexities of trademark disputes and the potential impact on brand reputation. This case serves as a reminder to companies to be vigilant in protecting their intellectual property and to consider potential conflicts before launching marketing campaigns or adopting new brand elements.


The settlement of the trademark lawsuit between Gap and Patagonia brings closure to a long-standing legal battle that has captivated the attention of the business world. While the specifics of the settlement agreement remain undisclosed, the resolution marks a turning point for both companies. It underscores the importance of intellectual property rights and serves as a valuable lesson for businesses operating in a competitive landscape. As the industry moves forward, it is crucial for companies to prioritize brand protection and navigate potential trademark conflicts with care and diligence.