example image of a guy skiing in ski apparel similar to the images used in the perfect moment case

Riding the Slopes of the Aspen Ski vs. Perfect Moment Case

Jan 17, 2024

Every new business has to start somewhere. Unfortunately, some choose to boost their clout by riding on the coattails of a more established brand — often without the owner’s consent. This is what happened in the case of Aspen Skiing Company (ASC), a popular Colorado Ski Resort, and Perfect Moment, a clothing brand out of the UK. This case can teach us a lot when it comes to protecting intellectual property, especially through trademarks. Let’s dive in with today’s blog.

The Case Against Perfect Moment

On December 20, ASC filed a lawsuit against Perfect Moment, alleging trademark infringement as well as “unfair competition” and “false association/endorsement.” They cited several instances in which Perfect Moment sent influencers to ASC for photoshoots wearing Perfect Moment ski apparel. ASC claims that these photoshoots were intended to give the false impression that Perfect Moment was affiliated with ASC, in order to give Perfect Moment more clout. 

According to the suit, “Rather than building that reputation and goodwill through its own product line, Perfect Moment attempts to appropriate ASC’s world-renowned reputation and goodwill by intentionally and falsely associating itself with ASC’s resorts, ASC’s trademarks, and ASC’s iconic ASPENX BEACH CLUB experience.” This claim is backed up by a conflict dating back to March of 2021, in which Perfect Moment posted a photoshoot to their Instagram account of influencers modeling their clothing on the ASC slopes. ASC sent a “cease and desist” letter, which resulted in some of the pictures being deleted, though not all.

The main issue of the lawsuit, however, is a photo and subsequent apparel posted in October of 2023. In it, Perfect Moment influencers posed in the ASPENX Beach Club, a famous resort club within ASC’s property. The photos included a $790 jacket which featured a picture of the club printed on it. The lawsuit also mentions leggings which infringed on ASC’s trademark, leading to a whopping $1,000+ in Perfect Moment’s “infringing apparel.”

Understanding the Claims

People take pictures of themselves at popular ski resorts or other locations all the time, sharing those photos on Instagram or other social media platforms. However, these photos are usually just for personal use. Because Perfect Moment repeatedly sent influencers to Aspen Ski for commercial photoshoots, it gave the appearance that ASC and Perfect Moment were affiliated, a misconception which Perfect Moment made no effort to dispel. If customers of ASC took issue with Perfect Moment for any reason, and believed Perfect Moment to be affiliated with ASC, that could harm ASC’s reputation.

More importantly, ASC has registered trademarks for ASPENX Beach Club, including the name, logo, and other branding elements. These registered trademarks were printed onto Perfect Moment apparel and sold, allowing Perfect Moment to profit off of ASC’s intellectual property. Although the case is still ongoing, given ASC’s documented trademark registration, Perfect Moment may in fact end up having to pay up.

Protecting Your Own Intellectual Property With Help From Garcia-Zamor

Do you want to protect your intellectual property with registered trademarks and more so that you can stand against infringement? Garcia-Zamor can help! We have 20+ years of combined experience in the field of intellectual property. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a consultation