180s is taking on Walgreens in a patent infringement case involving the companys ear-warmers. Walgreens has allegedly been selling a product under the brand name Ear Band that is identical to 180s mainstay wrap-behind-the-head ear-warmer, which has been patented since 1998.
The suit against Walgreens includes claims of trade dress infringement, unfair competition and reverse passing off.
The suit asks the Court to award damages for the infringing activities and for an injunction to force Walgreens to cease all future infringing activities.
Walgreens has been singled out by 180s because the retailer, at one point, carried 180s product, and decided to sell the Ear Band in spite of allegedly knowing 180s held the patent.
Two months ago, 180s filed two suits against Starcrest of California, and Liter Boutique, and just last month 180s filed two additional lawsuits against Moon-Sung Corporation and Hit Items, Inc. for infringement of the same patent involved in the Walgreens case. All of these companies were carrying the Ear-Band branded product.
The cases take on more significance as 180s makes a push into the specialty market after focusing its energies on the mass market. Mass still makes up about 90% of its $45 million business.