TK Maxx sues Sports Direct over trademark infringement

American retailer TK Maxx is suing Sports Direct over alleged trademark infringement for the use of the title ‘Brand Max’ as it claims the British group is attempting to “deceive the public”.


Brand Max in Shirebrook - Photo: Sports Direct

Sports Direct launched the new Brand Max fascia, with a focus on inspirational brands at affordable prices, in the second half of 2017. Since then, seven Brand Max outlets have opened in Ireland in former Heatons department stores.

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct applied for an Irish trademark for the brand earlier this year, but TK Maxx filed an opposition in May claiming the use of the phrase Brand Max is an attempt to confuse customers about its relation to TK Maxx, reported The Sunday Times.

The Irish outlets in Maynooth, Naas, Portlaoise, Carrickmines, Carlow, Roscommon and Carrick-on-Shannon have been joined by further UK sites in Middlesbrough, Plymouth and Nottinghamshire.

Meanwhile, TK Maxx has 12 stores in Ireland, including six in Northern Ireland. The American company has been trading in the UK and Ireland for more than 20 years, and claims it has built “significant goodwill” and brand recognition.

Both retailers sell similar items in similarly sized stores.

Sports Direct bought Irish retailer Heatons and its 54 stores in 2016, but only some outlets will be used for the new Brand Max fascia, it is understood.

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