Dunn’s Catalog Too Close for Orvis’s Comfort

Some say that more and more consumer catalogs look alike. But Manchester, VT-based outdoor gear and apparel marketer Orvis is taking exception with one rival that it believes has copied its Sporting Tradition catalog.

Orvis announced in early March that it intends to sue Grand Island, NE-based competitor Dunn’s Supply Catalog for trademark and trade dress infringement. Dunn’s is owned by Sidney, NE-based outdoor sporting goods cataloger/retailer Cabela’s, which bought the title in spring 2002. Orvis president/CEO Perk Perkins says that the fall 2003 Dunn’s catalog copied several Orvis products as well as the photographic styling, the cover imagery, and the overall creative of The Sporting Tradition — not to mention the use of the word “tradition” itself.

“It’s pretty common practice for one company to be inspired by another company’s product or catalog design,” Perkins says. “But this was a wholesale copying of product design imagery. And it’s illegal for a company of Cabela’s stature to be doing something like that, which is really ridiculous.”

Orvis’s lawyer Tom Young in a Feb. 2 letter to Cabela’s demanded that Dunn’s immediately cease producing and distributing the catalog as well as revise its Website. Debra Stanek, a lawyer with the Chicago-based firm Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, replied on behalf of Cabela’s with a letter Feb. 25.

Perkins says that Stanek’s letter stated, “We disagree that Dunn’s catalog in any way infringes on your client’s rights.” There were no assertions that Dunn’s will alter its design, with the exception of one photo. “So we intend to pursue the lawsuit vigorously,” Perkins says.

Reed Gilmore, Cabela’s inhouse corporate counsel, says Cabela’s is trying to resolve the case. But the ball is in Orvis’s court, he adds. “So if they elect to file suit, we’ll deal with that.”

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.