Yeti sues 3 more companies over ‘confusingly similar’ tumblers


Highlights

Yeti say tumblers sold by RELYMedia, CreekFire and Nine Line Apparel are Rambler clones.

In many cases, the companies Yeti has sued offer their products at lower prices.

Austin-based Yeti Coolers is continuing its crusade against companies that make products it contends are “confusingly similar” to the ones it manufactures, suing three more companies this month.

In a filing in U.S. District Court in Austin, attorneys for Yeti say tumblers sold by RELYMedia, CreekFire and Nine Line Apparel too closely resemble some of the tumblers in its top-selling Rambler line.

Several similar suits have been filed by Yeti in recent years against a variety of companies, including Axis Cups, Bayou Ice Boxes, Home Depot, Mammoth Coolers, RTIC and Takeya USA.

Axis Cups says it has shut down. RTIC, meanwhile, settled with Yeti earlier this year, agreeing to remove existing products from stores by May and to redesign its offerings going forward.

In its latest filing, Yeti is seeking a similar outcome.

Representatives for Wayzata, Minn.-based RELYMedia, Savannah, Ga.-based CreekFire and Savannah, Ga.-based Nine Line Apparel did not respond to messages from the American-Statesman seeking comment on the lawsuit.

“Yeti has sold millions of the 20-ounce Rambler tumblers throughout the United States, including sales to customers in the state of Texas,” the suit says. “Yeti has invested significant resources in the design, development, manufacture, advertising and marketing of the 20-ounce Rambler tumbler.

“The design and features of the 20-ounce Rambler tumbler have received widespread and unsolicited public attention. For example, the 20-ounce Rambler tumbler has been featured in numerous newspaper, magazine and internet articles.”

In many cases, the companies Yeti has sued offer their products at lower prices. A 20-ounce Rambler tumbler was listed at $24.99 on Yeti’s website on Monday, while a similar-looking model was being sold by CreekFire for $15.

Yeti says its tumblers have a number of “distinctive and non-functional features that identify to consumers that the origin of the 20-ounce Rambler tumbler is Yeti.” Some of those features include the design of the rim, the placement of a taper in the side wall and the inclusion of a tab on the lid, the company says. Those features are covered by various trademarks, the company says.

Yeti says the three companies it’s suing have engaged in “unlawful activities.” It claims they “purposefully advertised, promoted, offered for sale, sold, and/or distributed, and continue to advertise, promote, offer for sale, sell, and/or distribute products that violate Yeti’s rights, including the rights protected by Yeti’s intellectual property.”

Yeti makes 13 claims total in its lawsuit, including trade dress dilution, trademark dilution, trademark infringement, unfair competition and unjust enrichment. It’s seeking a jury trial.

Yeti’s requests include a recall of “all infringing products,” with RELYMedia, CreekFire and Nine Line Apparel being required to give refunds to customers who purchased them.

A court date has not been set.



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