Ralph Lauren v. United States Polo Association

A judge in New York Federal Court dismissed a lawsuit instituted by Ralph Lauren Corp. against the United States Polo Association and other entities, including Arvind Inc., USPA’s Indian apparel licensee. Ralph Lauren claimed that USPA and Arvind violated a 2003 settlement agreement pertaining to the use of Ralph Lauren’s trademark of the mounted polo player. The District Court judge ruled that the case belongs in arbitration as per the settlement agreement and granted motions by USPA and Arvind to dismiss the complaint and compel arbitration.


Polo Player, Nacho Figueras, Wearing a Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt

This ruling is the most recent occurrence in a trademark battle that has been ongoing for nearly 30 years, initially brought on by USPA and its licensees against Ralph Lauren  in 1984. The USPA instituted a lawsuit seeking declaratory judgment that a logo bearing a horse and rider image did not infringe on Ralph Lauren’s mounted polo player logo. Ralph Lauren then countersued for trademark infringement. The court in that case dismissed USPA’s motion and ruled that the USPA had in fact not only infringed on Ralph Lauren’s logo, but the use of the word ‘polo’ by USPA constituted trademark infringement as well.

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