BB Brand Holdings Sues Centric Brands for Trademark Infringement

IL0416bebeBB Brand Holdings is suing Centric Brands for trademark infringement, alleging the firm “actively participated” in the potential sale of Bebe women’s denim and sportswear through “bargain-basement” retailers.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, New York, claims that after the companies formally ended their ecommerce and wholesale agreements in January, Centric violated terms of a termination pact by either selling or offering to sell remaining inventory to wholesalers (jobbers), who typically buy goods from manufacturers, stock them and resell to retailers. Centric inherited the licensing deals, which were reached in 2016,  in buying part of Global Brands Group USA’s business last year.

Centric was given through 2019 to clear remaining inventory, but instead sold 150,000 pieces to jobbers, the suit said. Sales of Bebe branded products were limited under the agreement to department stores, clubs and off-price brick and mortar and e-tailers, but barred from dollar stores, mid-tier retailers and jobbers, the suit said.

In selling Bebe apparel through distribution channels barred by the termination agreement Centric “engaged in trademark infringement that caused damage to the BB Brand and its BB marks,” the suit said. The suit seeks a temporary restraining order and a court order requiring Centric to recall product shipped to jobbers. Lori Nembirkow, SVP for Legal and Compliance at Centric, declined to comment.

Contact:

BB Brand Holdings, Manny Mashouf, CEO, 415-715-3900

Centric Brands, Lori Nembirkow, SVP Legal and Compliance, 646-582-6000, lori@differentialbrands.com

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