A & H Sportswear, Inc. v. Victoria’s Secret Stores, Inc – Case Brief Summary (Federal Court)

A & H Sportswear, Inc. v. Victoria’s Secret Stores, Inc - Case Brief Summary (Federal Court)

In A & H Sportswear, Inc. v. Victoria’s Secret Stores, Inc., 237 F.3d 198, (3d Cir. 2000), the district court found after a bench trial that the defendant’s use of “Miracle Bra” in connection with swimwear was not likely to cause confusion with the plaintiff’s “Miraclesuit” mark, also used for swimwear.

Addressing the district court’s finding that the defendant had not adopted its mark with the intent to confuse consumers, the Third Circuit explained:

A defendant’s mere intent to copy, without more, is not sufficiently probative of the defendant’s success in causing confusion to weigh such a finding in the plaintiff’s favor; rather, defendant’s intent will indicate a likelihood of confusion only if an intent to confuse consumers is demonstrated via purposeful manipulation of the junior mark to resemble the senior’s. Id. at 225-26.

The appeals court held that the district court’s finding on this factor was not clear error because the record indicated that the defendant had “brought the mark into swimwear because of its success in lingerie,” not “in an effort to ride on the plaintiff’s good name.” Id. at 226.