Target's 'Good & Gather' product line infringes on Georgia woman's trademark, lawsuit claims

Garnish & Gather founder Emily Golub says 'I need to preserve my brand'

Target was hit with a federal lawsuit earlier this month, with a Georgia woman claiming the retail juggernaut ripped off her company’s name and brand despite being warned about trademark infringement beforehand.

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And while it may be the latest such case against Target, it's far from the only one: The retailer has contended with similar accusations from the likes of Burberry and "Duck Dynasty."

In the most recent court filings against Target, Garnish & Gather founder Emily Golub claims the retail giant stole her company’s logo, name and products when launching its Good and Gather food line in September.

"We don't have any indication that they necessarily copied our brand, but I think there's a lot of things that are just a little bit too similar to me."

- Emily Golub, Garnish & Gather founder

"There's a lot of influences in their logo and design and certainly the name Good & Gather ... Garnish & Gather?" Golub said on FOX Business' "After the Bell" on Monday. "To me, it's just a little too similar to be a coincidence."

Golub, who trademarked her company’s name and likeness in 2014 after starting the business a year earlier, argues that the names are far too similar and will likely confuse consumers, even sending Target a notice of trademark infringement a month before the September launch of its food brand, available at more than 1,800 locations nationwide, according to USA Today.

Emily Golub, founder of Garnish & Gather (Heidi Harris)

"We filed a trademark for our brand when we built it five years ago for Garnish & Gather, and this means that we have protection here," Golub told FOX Business' Melissa Francis. "That, you know, we're not supposed to have any other brands that are so similar."

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Golub's Garnish & Gather brand was created to directly connect consumers with everything from chefs to locally grown and sourced foods in the Atlanta area, while also selling meal kits and prepared foods, the outlet reported. Target’s iteration follows an almost identical business model, designed to increase sales and differentiate Target from other mega-retail outlet competition.

Like Golub’s brand, Good & Gather sells items from pre-packaged salads to cheese, frozen fruit, fresh produce and vegetables.

Example of Garnish & Gather product (Heidi Harris)

In fact, Golub claims a customer told her about the similarily, which led her to discover 40 to 50 products on Good & Gather's website that were identical to items found from Garnish & Gather, while also pointing out the two companies use the same leaf design for their respective logos.

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"To me, it's disappointing because, you know, I also love Target," Golub said. "I shopped there with my kids, I don't know, almost every weekend it seemed. And I always respected what they did and really loved the brands that they built."

"I know how effectively they can launch a brand, which makes this, to us, so scary, because to watch them launch Good & Gather to be a $2 billion brand and possibly their largest private label brand in a couple years, that means that there's really no space in the marketplace for our brand."

- Emily Golub, Garnish & Gather founder

According to Target spokesperson Danielle Schumann, the company has a "deep appreciation and respect for trademarks."

"We’re aware of this lawsuit and are confident that Target’s brands, including Good & Gather, are distinctive in the marketplace," Schumann wrote in a statement. "We’ve shared that feedback with Garnish & Gather and will continue to defend these claims through the legal process."

In 2017, the iconic British fashion line Burberry sent a cease-and-desist letter to Target “regarding the sale of several different products bearing unauthorized reproductions of the BURBERRY CHECK Trademark,” according to court documents obtained by Fortune.

Target ignored that letter and the case went to court, with the lawsuit eventually being dismissed after a settlement.

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The retailer found itself in yet another trademark infringement case in 2014 over a "Duck Dynasty" shirt emblazoned with the phrase “My Favorite Color is Camo,” according to The Wrap. That phrase turned out to have been trademarked in 2011 by Florida company Hajn, a year before "Duck Dynasty" debuted on A&E.

Golub revealed that the retailer attempted to give her "tens of thousands of dollars" to work with Target on search engine optimization for Garnish & Gather, an opportunity which she says she turned down.

Garnish & Gather product (Heidi Harris)

"What we're looking for here is for them to stop using the brand and to just pick another brand name," Golub said. "There's a lot of words out there, and I wish you wouldn't pick one that's so similar to ours when we're selling the same products."

Golub’s complaint, filed in federal court in Manhattan on Nov. 8, is seeking a temporary restraining order in an effort to stop Target from selling products under the Good & Gather brand name. In the meantime, Target’s legal team has filed a motion to move the case to the company’s home base in Minnesota.

Golub alleges Target hasn't taken the matter very seriously.

"Initially, they said that they would be happy to help us with some search engine optimization," Golub said. "I need to protect my brand, so, you know, it's really upsetting."

"I think if the tables were turned, and if Good & Gather had been on the marketplace for the last six years, and we tried to launch Garnish & Gather today, I think they'd be singing a different tune."

- Emily Golub, Garnish & Gather founder

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FOX Business' Blair Shiff contributed to this report.