TK Maxx has accused Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct of attempting to “deceive the public” by opening new stores under the Brand Max fascia.
The Brand Max chain was launched in the second half of 2017 and sells fashion and home brands at up to 70% off.
Ashley applied for an Irish trademark for ‘Brand Max Designer Outlet’ on 17 April and the outcome is still pending.
On 14 May, TK Maxx filed its opposition to the use of the phrase ‘Brand Max’, according to The Times, claiming the ’Max’ is an attempt to deceive customers into thinking it is connected to the TK Maxx chain.
The US company reportedly argued that it had built “significant goodwill” in Ireland after trading in the country for more than 20 years, and that the Brand Max name was an attempt to “deceive the public” and would lead to “a likelihood of confusion”.
Ashley has opened seven Brand Max outlets in Ireland in recent months, mostly in former Heatons department stores, a department store chain purchased for €48m in 2016. The retailer has also opened UK outlets in Middlesbrough, Plymouth and Nottinghamshire.
Meanwhile, TK Maxx has 12 stores in Ireland, including six in Northern Ireland.
Sports Direct and TK Maxx declined to comment.