USPA Wins Motion to Dismiss Ralph Lauren Lawsuit

SDNY Upholds Terms of 2003 Settlement Agreement and Validates USPA Trademarks

NEW YORK--()--The United States Polo Association, Inc. (“USPA”), the governing body of the sport of polo in the United States since 1890, today announced that the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”) has granted its motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Ralph Lauren Corporation (“RLC”) and RLC’s subsidiaries, PRL USA Holdings, Inc. (“PRL”) and Polo/Lauren Company, L.P. (“PLC”), against the USPA and its licensee Arvind Ltd.

“We are extremely pleased with the Court’s ruling on multiple levels. It is yet another judicial decision which validates the settlement agreement under which the parties have co-existed for more than 10 years, and which recognizes Ralph Lauren’s agreement that the USPA may use its Double Horsemen trademarks.”

The lawsuit, which was filed by RLC in October 2013, is related to trademark litigation that has been underway since 1984 between the USPA and RLC – and the use of certain names, logos and trademarks in connection with the USPA’s production and marketing of merchandise. In 2003, the USPA and RLC and its subsidiaries executed a settlement agreement which defined the terms under which the USPA has the right to market its products. In granting the USPA’s motion to dismiss RLC’s lawsuit, the SDNY upheld the terms of the settlement agreement – in which RLC conceded the legitimacy of the USPA’s Double Horseman trademarks and agreed that any disputes concerning the use of those trademarks should be resolved in arbitration.

W. David Cummings, President and Chief Executive Officer of USPA Properties, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of USPA and its licensing arm, said, “We are extremely pleased with the Court’s ruling on multiple levels. It is yet another judicial decision which validates the settlement agreement under which the parties have co-existed for more than 10 years, and which recognizes Ralph Lauren’s agreement that the USPA may use its Double Horsemen trademarks.”

Mr. Cummings continued, “We believe Ralph Lauren’s underlying claims are both unnecessary and meritless. We have marketed our merchandise legally under our pre-existing agreement with Ralph Lauren – and have strict policies and procedures in place to ensure that our international licensees also abide both those parameters. We are confident in our position should Ralph Lauren elect to move forward with arbitration.”

About The United States Polo Association

The United States Polo Association (USPA) was created on March 21, 1890 by H. L. Herbert. It was formed to act as the national governing body for the sport of polo in America. The USPA is dedicated to growing recognition for polo, organizing tournaments, establishing rules, creating educational programs, coordinating interscholastic and intercollegiate competitions, and providing the handicaps for polo players all over the country.

The organization is continually creating new programs for people to learn the sport and develop American players, as well as maintaining guidelines for the safety and wellbeing of the polo ponies. Proceeds generated from the organization’s licensing program are used to help the USPA promote the sport, as well as provide support for training and instructional youth programs. There are over 300 clubs registered with the USPA and 4,000 members. The USPA is always growing and building stronger roots for the sport of polo.

Contacts

Sard Verbinnen & Co
Hugh Burns/Lesley Bogdanow
212-687-8080