Target vs. Target: U.S. retailer faces legal battles over name in Canada
Last week’s triumphant announcement that the U.S. discount retail chain Target is indeed coming to Canada may be hitting a snag. As we reported in October, due to a trademark dispute with Canadian owned Target Apparel, the U.S. chain may be forced to change its name. Never heard of Target Apparel? Well, that’s exactly what Target Corp. is claiming: the U.S. chain filed a challenge with the Canadian trademark office in July 2010 asserting the Toronto owner of Target Apparel, Isaac Benitah—also head of Fairweather Ltd. and International Clothiers—has not used the Target name in the past three years.
The challenge seems simple enough—except this isn’t Target Corp.’s first run-in with Target Apparel. The U.S. mega-chain first challenged Benitah’s right to use the similar moniker in 2002 after he acquired the Target Apparel brand from Dylex Ltd. While the Canadian federal trademark office initially agreed with the U.S.-based Target, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled in Benitah’s favour five years later. To complicate matters further, Benitah recently filed for $250 million in damages from Target Corp. or “profits unjustly gained” by using the Target name in Canada. In a similar move, Target Corp. recently sought a court injunction and more than $50,000 from Target Apparel, charging that its store name was “deliberately calculated to deceive and confuse the public in Canada.”
With the two Targets in a court battle over the same name, Target Apparel has been quietly opening stores in Sudbury, Ontario and Nanaimo, B.C. A shrewd move, considering Benitah has until the end of February to prove he’s used or had plans to use the Target name in the past three years.
Our (thoroughly non-professional) legal advice? Why not drop the whole legal battle and spell the store name the way everyone already pronounces it: Tar-jay.
• Fairweather sues Target for $250M over name [CTV]
• Target might have different name in Canada [CBC]
• A hitch in Target’s plans [Globe and Mail]
21 thoughts on “Target vs. Target: U.S. retailer faces legal battles over name in Canada”
NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, have I heard of Target Apparel. Fairweather sucks. Does anyone even shop there anymore? The REAL TARGET wants to come to Canada, open hundreds of stores and provide jobs for thousands of people. God forbid it be a smooth process. Come on!!! That’s just sour grapes.
Honestly . i can care less about target apparel whatever that is ..its actually used-less !stop being selfish and let target come to canada alot of us are waiting
I have heard rumers that “Target” is a French Company and refused financial help for “Vetnam Vetrans Asso’also refused to allow “Salvation Army’bell ringers outside their stores at Christmas …..Should this be the case ….Keep them out of Canada, we dont need them. I for one will stick with “WallMart” and sugest all good Canadians ban the urge to shop in a store with such arrogant and selfish attatude
I support Target Apparel and the business mind of Iaasc Benitah. Keeping Target out of Canada will be the best thing to do. Sick of all the whiners, I can care less about them!
Any one who wants to boycott Isaac Benitah’s stores, join my Facebook group BOYCOTT FAIRWEATHER INC!! (I know, named wrong, but I can’t change it, sadly).
Join my cause and help Target come to Canada!
@ Bill Liston! For one to call Target arrogant and claim they have a selfish attitude while in fact supporting Walmart is a MAJOR hypocritical action. Wal-mart has put many other stores out of business because they bully suppliers into low prices and exclusive deals which makes it hard for any other company with “good morals” to cempete. Zellers (which was Truly Canadian) has struggled in attempts to keep up with Wal-mart’s brutish bully tactics in a less brutal manner. Zellers does not even carry Ipods anymore because wal-mart drove them out of the market! I am in full support of Target coming to Canada and bringing back some good old competitive spirit to Corporate bullies Wal-mart!!! and Target Apperal just want a money settlement!!!
Isaac Benitah has had this up his sleeve for years and laughs about it. He is a money grubbing & brutal individual that couldn’t care less about anyone or anything other than himself his own pocket. He is a liar and a man who’s word should never be trusted…have know him for 25 years plus, he is all bad news….he had bankrupt and put the screws to alot of people…sucks you dry.
0h how sad. Mr Benitah has to blame the big bad ‘Murrican company for his similarly named business failing to launch? So now he’s opening stores to try to pretend he meant to all along? Pathetic much? Having Target in Canada won’t change anything but the mileage of Target shoppers’ cars. It means we won’t have to cross the border to purchase stylish products that Canadian stores refuse to carry. Seriously, if shoppers needs were being met by Canadian retailers, there would be no market for international companies.
This is officially one of the saddest threads I’ve ever read. All of this outrage and vitriol over a billion dollar discount chain store fighting with some rich dude? Really?
Imagine for a second what a better world this would be if some of this anger were redirected towards an actual injustice.
I seems pretty obvious what’s going on here: this guy saw the opportunity to buy a trademarked name that would cash in later on, so he jumped on it. Kudos to him.
Target: yeah, this was a calculated move, but I doubt his intentions can be proven. Pay up and get on with it.
Bill and Will, shut yer faces up. Bill, do you even have any idea what WalMart does to its employees?? I wonder how much YOU donate to the Salvation Army or other charities…
as for this Isaac Benitah guy, thanks CSH for pointing those things out–I am not surprised. I have never heard of Target Apparel either but I do remember seeing the Target logo and the name Target above it and thinking, ‘this has got to be some kind of joke’ upon realizing it’s NO Target (as in, tar-jay)! How dare he?
CSH is absolutely right and it runs in their family.
Boycott their stores! Time to bankrupt their asses!
I have to agree with the U.S. based retailer on this one. I drove by Target Apparel today and the signage is incredibly deceiving. The word “Target” is written about three times the size of “Apparel” and, while the exterior signage was being erected, the shell of their logo (a circle with a Canadian Maple Leaf) looked exactly like the US Target’s bullseye trademark.
They are completing trying to capitalize on the US retailers reputation. I didn’t even bother to go inside the store because I was so disgusted. Judging by the number of people I witnessed walking out of the store empty-handed, I clearly wasn’t the only one who was conned!
I just think everything coming from USA is the best . They should bring all companies to Canada may be like this Canada could be up dated.
I drove by the other day and thought what kind of store is this. I was curious and so I stopped in. I was in awe. I bought a beautiful winter coat(ya i know it is spring)but for $25.00 for all their winter coats & dress coats. I told everyone I know. My mother in law went there today and bought 4 coats for my niece.
I will always support Canadian businesses over Americans. We’ve sold enough of our Canadian heritage across the boarder, and I’m tired of America trying to monopolize where I spend my money. This is not the United States of America this is CANADA! As a business owner I think what Benitah has done is genius, kudos to him. Use your noodle and buy local!
Mr.I Benitah and his brother are the smartest men on earth for thinking all the years back WOW target will come to canada one day lets buy the name and sell to them when they come.
every one who is saying Mr Benitah is dumb or rude is plain stupid because if u read up on this man you can see what I see a brilliant man he is.He must not be so dumb after all he is a multi millionaire and the people hating on him I’m sure are not. instead of saying all these things about him go get a job and learn how to think BIG like these guys did and maybe one day you can be like him.
also CSH you clearly don’t know him well because if you knew him for 25 years you would see the million dollar dissuasions he has mad and you would not of written that letter about Mr Benitah in a negative light .
Actually there is a target apparel store open on Sunridge Blvd and I first thought it was the original target until a friend told me about this battle going on. I’m all for new businesses and jobs. I personally feel it was done because Isaah knew they wanted to come to Canada and that was the way to stop them. When they do come and if their name has changed, I will go there.
Target is based out of Minneapolis. Its ridiculous when people bring up being “French owned” /chain email rumors. Its going to be great for the company and for Canada to have an awesome business like Target in its communities. Every time a Target opens up it brings new life to the area.
– Target US goes with a different name in Canada on a temp basis.
– Target US opens competiting stores for “Target” Canada, Fairweather, Intl Clothiers across the steet from all those stores basically giving stuff away (99 cent suits) and drive this guy out of business or until he gives up and sells the Target name for $1.
I am not impressed with any American Store coming to Canada to open. I am tired of hearing that we canadians are losing more and more businesses to the Americans. I am also upset with the fact that when Target or Walmart take over a company they put all of those employees out of a job. Do not believe what you hear when they say they keep any of the staff from other stores, THEY DON’T. I am speaking from experience as Walmart took over the store I worked in and did not offer any staff member a job. Target will do the same. Good luck to those canadians who will be out of a job because of Target.
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