Los Angeles Business Journal

JustFab Sues Fab.com Over Similar Name, Business

By Tom Dotan, Natalie Jarvey Tuesday, July 30, 2013

This was bound to happen.

JustFab, the El Segundo subscription e-commerce site, has filed a trademark infringement suit against New York online retailer Fab.com.

The suit contends that Fab.com, founded in 2011, has been encroaching on JustFab's territory as an e-commerce site with a similar sounding name.

JustFab is an online subscription service that for $39.99 a month sends members a pair of shoes or jeans. The company creates all the apparel and counts Kimora Lee Simmons as its celebrity designer and creative director.

Fab.com began its life as Fabulis, a gay networking site, then pivoted to flash sales. Earlier this year, Fab.com dropped the flash sales in favor of a more traditional e-commerce site where it features clothing, home goods, and accessories that are designed in house as well as by third party designers.

The two have been on a collision course for some time. JustFab in particular has been protective of its brand, having acquired a pair of apparel companies with the "fab" titles: "Fab Kids" in January and "Fab Shoes" in May.

In a statement, JustFab said it wasn't trolling for a suit, but Fab.com's encroachment onto JustFab's business and name had finally crossed a line.

"We are not only prepared to protect our intellectual property, but we also believe we have a responsibility to our members and to members of the general public to stop any actual or likely confusion that is created when someone else uses a similar name," the statement said.

Buried in the lawsuit is another tidbit, and point of contention. According to the filing, JustFab will soon be opening up a brick-and-mortar store in Glendale. The lawsuit notes that there have been rumors Fab.com will be opening a retail store as well.

JustFab and Fab.com have become two of the largest players in the online retail space. Fab.com raised $150 million in June at a $1 billion valuation, bringing its total funding to $310 million. Meanwhile, JustFab has taken nearly $110 million in venture funding.

JustFab is requesting that Fab.com refrain from selling products that compete directly with its own line of shoes, clothes and accessories. It is also seeking damages for loss of business.

Fab.com told blog TechCrunch that it will fight the lawsuit. The blog quoted the company saying it will "aggressively defend our brand, products, and services offered to our customers worldwide."

It's worth noting that the similarities between JustFab and Fab.com don't end with the name. Chief executives Adam Goldenberg of JustFab and Jason Goldberg of Fab.com even have similar surnames. And both companies are projecting $250 million in revenue for the year.