TK Maxx has taken Sports Direct to court over allegations that the latter’s Brand Max stores are an infringement on trademark.
According to The Sunday Times, the US-based TK Maxx has accused the Mike Ashley-owned firm of attempting to “deceive the public” by opening new stores with the title Brand Max.
In recent months, seven Brand Max stores have opened in Ireland and another three in the UK.
The Sports Direct-run fascia markets itself as offering “inspirational brands but at a price that won’t break the bank”.
TK Maxx filed its opposition to the use of the phrase Brand Max on May 14, several months after Ashley applied for an Irish trademark for it.
The discount fashion retailer alleges that the use of “Max” tricks customers into thinking the stores have a link with TK Maxx, especially as both retailers sell similar items.
It also argues since it trademarked the TK Maxx around its Irish launch in 1997, the retailer built up “significant goodwill” and brand recognition, and that there “exists a likelihood of confusion” between Brand Max and TK Maxx.
TK Maxx operates 12 stores in the Republic of Ireland and six in Northern Ireland.
Sports Direct has not yet commented on the legal challenge.