Last year around October Kate Spade announced their plans for diffusion line, Kate Spade Saturday, a fun contemporary women’s lifestyle brand. Saturdays Surf NYC a men’s ready-to-wear and accessories line wasn’t too thrilled about the news and alleged the diffusion brand was too similar in terms of the name, branding, and marketing. Furthermore Saturdays Surf NYC is often called Saturdays and Kate Spade Saturday is often referred to as Saturday. This led to concerns of the likelihood of customer confusion as Saturdays Surf NYC expands into new markets. Needless to say, the two companies ended up in court after Kate Spade in response to a cease and desist letter from Saturday Surf NYC to stop the launch, chose to continue forward. Whether Kate Spade would be liable for trademark infringement was the big question.
Fast forward a little bit and we can report that the battle is over (for now). Kate Spade has come out on top and has won the legal dispute regarding the brand name and logo for the new Kate Spade Saturday line. In her ruling, Judge Miriam Goldman concluded “Saturdays Surf NYC has not shown a likelihood of confusion by a preponderance of the credible evidence. I am particularly persuaded by the relative weakness of the word that the two marks share, the significant distance between the men’s and women’s products, and the consistent inclusion of the famous house mark, Kate Spade, in its Kate Spade Saturday mark.”
Kate Spade believes that both brands can exist in the marketplace in harmony – the Kate Spade Saturday brand focuses strictly on womenswear and the main focus of Saturdays Surf NYC is on menswear. Although this decision certainly comes as a disappointment to Saturday’s Surf NYC, they have plans to consider other legal options and will continue to focus their efforts in designing and selling fashion forward clothing and expanding the brand.
So what is your take on these two brands? Would you get the two confused? Let us know your thoughts.