Portland Clothing Company Wildfang Sues Target’s “Wild Fable” Line for Trademark Infringement

Wildfang says the similarity between the two lines is "likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception, or to deceive consumers as to the source, origin, affiliation, association."

Portland-based clothing company Wildfang filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday alleging Target's clothing line, Wild Fable, infringed on the company's trademark.

The complaint, filed Feb. 4 in the U.S. District Court of Oregon and first reported by the Portland Business Journal, alleges that the similarity between the two lines is "likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception, or to deceive consumers as to the source, origin, affiliation, association."

In addition to having similar names, the complaint says, the two companies also offer similar merchandise, such as "button-down shirts, jackets, pants, shoes, and accessories."

Wildfang, which started in 2013 as a "female founded, women run" brand, has positioned itself as an advocate of feminism, reproductive rights and immigration.

Related: Portland Company Wildfang Makes Jacket in Response to Melania Trump's Recent Wardrobe Choice.

"It started with the 'radical' belief that a womxn has the right to wear whatever the hell she wants and be whoever the hell she wants," the company says on its website.

Six years after Wildfang's inception, in May 2019, Target registered its Wild Fable trademark, according to court documents. The lawsuit alleges that Wild Fable also ripped off of Wildfang's self-empowerment ethos.

"Not only have Defendants infringed the Wildfang Marks through the sale of clothing," the complaint says. "But Defendants have further copied Plaintiff's brand concept, positioning Wild Fable as a clothing line focused on self-expression and inclusivity, with the Target Website claiming that Wild Fable is a brand 'focused on enabling guests to create their own style for their many life moments.'"

Wildfang is asking Wild Fable to stop selling its line, to recall any Wild Fable clothing currently in distribution, and to transfer profits derived from the sale of Wild Fable merchandise to Wildfang.

Wildfang's attorney did not immediately respond for comment.

A Target spokesperson issued a statement: "At Target, we have a deep appreciation and respect for trademarks. Since we haven't been formally served, we don't have anything to share on this lawsuit by way of public comment at this time."

Related: "With Privilege Comes Responsibility" Says Emma McIlroy, Founder and CEO of Wildfang.