Target, in hopes of expanding into Canada in 2013, settles name dispute with Canadian retailer

After a year-long battle over the right to use the Target name, Minnesota-based Target got Fairweather, Ltd. to settle, agreeing to stop using the Target name on its line of apparel, so that the state-side Target could expand into Canada by January 31,2013. More details on the settlement were not released. But given the powerful name recognition Target U.S. has, its chief intellectual property officer obviously had had enough and wanted the store’s expansion to proceed unencumbered.

Fairweather acquired the Target Apparel name in 2001 from a failing retailer but didn’t use it right away. Six months later, Target Corporation reportedly filed a challenge with the Canadian Registrar of Trademarks, arguing that the trademark should be invalidated due to its nonuse. “The Registrar’s office sided with Target, but the Federal Court of Canada overturned the decision because Fairweather by then had begun making clothing under the Target Apparel label. That decision was upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal in 2007 but only covers the right to the name on apparel, not on stores themselves,” recently reported