Arguably the biggest music festival in Southern California, The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is suing clothing store chain Urban Outfitters, accusing them of profiting off the Coachella name without the festival’s permission. The complaint filed on Tuesday with a California federal court claims that certain clothing lines and product released by the clothing company use “Coachella” as a tag line to drive sales and push online advertising. A subsidiary of Urban Outfitters, Free People, is the alleged offender. Free People offers products with names such as “Coachella Boot,” “Coachella Mini Dress,” or “Coachella Pocket Tank,” which the festival’s parent company Goldenvoice argues is unfairly profiting from the its brand.
While the use of Coachella in these products is blatant, an actual legal defense won’t be very clear cut. Goldenvoice will claim that “Coachella” as such is a stylized version of their festival, which is, of course, trademarked by the entertainment company. However, Urban Outfitters will likely make the claim that their products simply refer to the city or valley in which the festival takes place, as that is not trademarked.