Portland, OR–Flash sale site Gilt Groupe is being sued by a Portland, Ore. jewelry store called Gilt for trademark infringement. The suit, according to Gilt Inc.’s lawyers, alleges “unfair competition and unjust enrichment, and seeks to cancel many of Gilt Groupe’s federal trademark registrations.”
Gilt Inc. owner Paula Bixel filed the suit against New York-based Gilt Groupe on October 10, claiming that her business has operated under the name Gilt since 1994 and online since 1999.
Gilt Groupe launched as a flash sale site in 2007.
Bixel said in her suit that “consumer confusion” about the two Gilt businesses began in about February 2012, with calls from Gilt Groupe’s customers about returns, product complaints and general inquiries.
“Bixel’s boutique has been a fixture on the Northwest 23rd shopping scene for decades,” said Gilt. Inc.’s attorney, Elizabeth Milesnick. “When people walk by her storefront and mistake her unique store for a corporate giant, or remark on all the spam they receive from ‘Gilt,’ it is heartbreaking for her. She just wants it to stop.”
Gilt Groupe has not commented publicly about the case.