February 1, 2012 / 3:08 PM / in 6 years

Target settles Canadian trademark fight

(Reuters) - Target Corp (TGT.N) said on Wednesday that it had settled a dispute over naming and branding rights in Canada, smoothing the way for its first venture outside the United States.

<p>The logo of a Target store is seen in this file photo.REUTERS/Rick Wilking</p>

The Minneapolis-based discount retailer said Fairweather Ltd, International Clothiers Inc and Les Ailes de la Mode Incorporées have agreed to stop using the Target mark by January 31, 2013. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

“This agreement will eliminate any potential confusion among Canadian consumers,” said Target in a statement.

Court documents showed that the three related companies operate several “Target Apparel” discount clothing stores in Canada, featuring circular red logos similar to Target Corp’s bull‘s-eye.

In June a Canadian court dismissed Target’s request for a temporary injunction that would have stopped the Canadian companies from using the Target name and logo. The trademark dispute would have gone to trial late in 2012.

Target plans open 125 to 135 stores in Canada starting in March or April 2013, taking over leases from Hudson’s Bay Co’s Zellers discount banner.

Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Janet Guttsman

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