Aspen Skiing Co. alleges trademark violations by T-shirt shops
August 26, 2018
The Aspen Skiing Co. is seeking a federal court order to stop five local T-shirts stores from selling items that it claims violates its licensed trademarks.
On Thursday, Skico filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Denver against Edwards-based O'Bos Enterprises LLC, which owns and operates Aspen T-Shirt Co. and Art Tee Gallery on the Hyman Avenue mall and Generation Aspen on East Durant Avenue, as well as Snowmass Trading Co. and Snowmass Trading T-Shirt Co., both of which are in the Snowmass Village Mall.
Skico's suit claims the stores have been using a combination of the proper nouns "Aspen" and "Snowmass," as well as the aspen leaf logo the company uses, on their merchandise.
"(Skico) is simply unwilling to permit your unauthorized use of the Leaf Trademark or any Leaf Logo to continue in this manner," wrote Derek Johnson, a Skico executive, in a Sept. 5, 2017-dated letter to O'Bos Enterprises. The letter is an exhibit in the lawsuit.
O'Bos previously had a nonexclusive license agreement with Skico, which dated to Nov. 15, 2006, to sell certain Aspen-Snowmass marks and logos, according to the lawsuit.
After that agreement expired, Skico learned that "Defendant continued to sell goods bearing one or more of the Aspen-Snowmass Marks without permission," the suit says.
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That prompted Johnson's letter to O'Bos Enterprises, which led to a Nov. 28 agreement between the two companies stipulating the T-shirt company would sell off all of its inventory with the Aspen/Snowmass marks by May 31 and pay royalties to Skico, the suit said.
The stores, however, continue to sell such products as sweatshirts, visors and polo shirts with logos similar or "in some cases identical to" Skico's trademarked ones, said the suit, which also noted, "Over the past 70 years, Plaintiff has invested millions of dollars in advertising and marketing to promote the Aspen-Snowmass Marks."
The suit makes six claims — federal trademark infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition, common law trademark infringement, common law unfair competition, violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act and unjust enrichment.
It also seeks an unspecified amount in monetary damages.
O'Bos Enterprises owner Robert Boselli said he was unable to speak about the suit because he had not consulted his attorney about the matter.
Littleton law firm Swanson & Bratschun LLC filed the suit on Skico's behalf.
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