Who owns the diaphanous dress/faded Polaroid/culturally questionable headdress brand? And who owns the name “Coachella”? Such are the questions that our courts are considering in the year of our lord, 2017. As the LA Weekly reports, Coachella parent company Goldenvoice is suing Urban Outfitters for trademark infringement, alleging unauthorized use of the word “Coachella” to describe the things you would most likely see people wearing at, y’know, Coachella.
The lawsuit relates to Urban Outfitters subsidiary Free People, who were apparently selling various items that use the Coachella name: “Coachella Valley Tunic,” “Bella Coachella” accessories, etc. Urban Outfitters’ tendency to “borrow” freely from sources without asking permission is well-documented, but Coachella has a licensing deal with H&M, and thus hasn’t taken kindly to having its name used by other retailers — according to the LA Weekly report, Goldenvoice sent a cease-and-desist letter along with several other demands that Urban Outfitters stop using the “Coachella” name, to no avail, a feeling to which independent artists can no doubt relate.
Since you’ve read this far, let us also remind you that all this unpleasantness could have been avoided had people just stuck to the Flavorwire Music Festival Fashion Guide that we published a couple of years back. Woomp, indeed.