Steve Beer /
30 October 2014Trademarks

Saks Fifth Avenue concedes in dog treat trademark row

An American entrepreneur who sells organic dog and horse treats has won a trademark fight with luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue using the fair-use doctrine.

Carrie Sarabella, a New Jersey-based businesswoman, was sent a cease-and-desist letter earlier this summer threatening court action if she kept using the name Snaks 5th Avenchew for her business.

The letter, sent in August, claimed Snaks 5th Avenchew, which sells snacks for dogs and horses, was diluting Saks’ brand.

But Sarabella’s lawyers argued that the name was acceptable under the fair-use law, which recognises that parody trademarks cause no harm to the established mark.

The 32-year-old, who sells merchandise online and directly to retailers, was told by Saks that it would not be pursuing the court case, according to the New York Daily News.

Sarabella told the newspaper: “I couldn’t be more excited, relieved and happy.”

Saks Fifth Avenue was founded in 1898 and is famed for its range of clothing, handbags and jewellery.

A company spokeswoman said: "We continue to protect Saks' rights and, as always, reserve the right to take further appropriate action."

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