Leicester-based Next faces lawsuit from Harley-Davidson over children's T-shirt design

Next store logo side by side image Harley-Davidson logo
-Credit: (Image: PA Archive/PA Images Leicester Mercury)


Leicestershire-based retail giant, Next, is facing a lawsuit from the renowned motorbike manufacturer, Harley-Davidson, over allegations that one of its t-shirts replicates their logo.

Harley-Davidson argues that the biker angel wings and flames symbols on the Next t-shirt, accompanied by the slogan "Rise and Roar", infringes upon their trademark.

The "Black Fearless Stud Graphic Long Sleeve T-Shirt", is targeted at children aged 3-16 years. It can be purchased online via Next's website.

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As reported by The Financial Times, Harley-Davidson alleges that the Next T-shirt "essentially replicates" the outline of their logo and the "graphic material and text... is commonly seen in the context of a motorcycle-based branding and more specifically the claimants' branding".

Harley-Davidson further stated that "black and flame and wing motifs are often used in combination with [Harley's] branding and the trademarks," and that the design used by the fashion retailer would "call [Harley's imagery] to mind for many members of the public".

The "Black Fearless Stud Graphic Long Sleeve T-Shirt" from Next.
The iconic motorbike manufacturer claims "for many members of the public" the design used by Next would "call to mind" Harley-Davidson. -Credit:Next.co.uk

The motorbike manufacturer is seeking a court order for the retailer to destroy "all infringing materials".

Dr Beatriz San Martin, partner at Arnold & Porter, commented: "In the vast majority of cases, this type of brand dispute which is very common between brand owners and retailers is resolved without having to seek recourse from the courts.

"Given that Next has design freedom to change the logos used in its clothing range and the T-shirt being complained about by Harley-Davidson is unlikely to have resulted in significant sales, I am surprised that this claim has been issued and that the parties were not able to come to an agreement out of court."

Next told LeicestershireLive they are "aware of the claim" but have declined further comment.