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Another Yeti suit: Company targets tumbler maker and Home Depot


Highlights

Home Depot, according to the suit, sells Takeya-branded drinkware that resembles Yeti’s Rambler tumblers.

The competing products typically sell for less than Yeti products.

Austin-based Yeti Coolers is hauling two more companies to court, accusing them of selling “confusingly similar” products that Yeti contends violate its trademarks.

This time, Home Depot USA Inc. and Takeya USA Corp. have been sued in federal court in Austin. The case was filed this week, records show.

This is at least the fifth lawsuit Yeti has filed against a competitor in recent months. It sued Bayou Ice Boxes and Axis Cups, which has gone out of business, last month. Earlier, it filed suit against RTIC and Mammoth Coolers.

Home Depot, according to the lawsuit, advertises and sells Takeya-branded drinkware that resembles Yeti’s 20-ounce and 30-ounce Rambler tumblers. An online search Friday found Takeya items for sale at a number of other national retailers, as well, including Target and The Vitamin Shoppe.

Home Depot told the American-Statesman on Friday that it hadn’t been served yet with the lawsuit and hasn’t had a chance to review the accusations.

Takeya did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Yeti says the popularity of its products has prompted several unauthorized “imitations” that have been designed to closely resemble Yeti’s products, causing consumer confusion.

“Yeti has invested significant resources in the design, development, manufacture, advertising and marketing of the Rambler drinkware,” the suit says. “The designs and features of the Rambler drinkware have received widespread and unsolicited public attention. For example, the Rambler drinkware have been featured in numerous newspaper, magazine and Internet articles.”

The competing products typically sell for less than Yeti products. A 20-ounce Yeti Rambler tumbler sells for $29.99, for instance, while a comparable Takeya tumbler could be purchased online Friday from Home Depot for $23.10.

Yeti says its trade dress rights for the Rambler drinkware cover everything from “the design and appearance of the curves, tapers and lines” to “the design and appearance of the rim” to “the design, appearance and placement of the drinking opening on the lid.”

“The designs of the Rambler drinkware have distinctive and non-functional features that identify to consumers that the origin of the Rambler drinkware is Yeti,” the suit says. “As a result of at least Yeti’s continuous and exclusive use of the Rambler drinkware, Yeti’s marketing, advertising and sales of the Rambler drinkware, and the highly valuable goodwill and substantial secondary meaning acquired as a result, Yeti owns trade dress rights in the designs and appearances of the Rambler drinkware, which consumers have come to uniquely associate with Yeti.”

As in its other lawsuits, Yeti accuses Home Depot and Takeya of trade dress infringement, trade dress dilution, unfair competition, misappropriation and unjust enrichment. It is seeking a jury trial.

Yeti also has asked for an injunction to stop Home Depot and Takeya from selling the “offending” products, a recall of products that have already been sold, destruction of all recalled products, as well as “an award of defendants’ profits, Yeti’s actual damages, enhanced damages, exemplary damages, costs, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest and reasonable attorney fees.”

A trial date has not been set.



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