KÜHL sells a pair of pants called the Outsider and owns the trademark for the Outsider brand name registered in international class 25 for rugged outdoor clothing, namely, belts, bottoms, hats, jackets, pants, shirts, shorts, t-shirts, and tops. L.L. Bean started a rebranding effort earlier this year, which includes the launch of an advertising campaign using the slogan "Be an Outsider" (pictured below):
Ad Age wrote this about L.L. Bean's rebranding effort in July, quoting Leeann Leahy, chief executive at the Via Agency, acting as strategic consultant to L.L. Bean: "Though 'Be an Outsider' embraces the outdoors, it differentiates L.L. Bean from other outdoors-focused brands that push more extremism because it emphasizes inclusivity and a "shared love."
L.L. Bean filed a trademark application for "Be an Outsider" in June 2017 in international class 35 covering retail store services, and retail services in the nature of computerized online retail store services and mail order catalog services in the field of apparel for men, women, and children.
Kevin Boyle, KÜHL founder and president, acknowledged L.L. Bean's "clever" rebranding, saying: "… In my opinion L.L. Bean’s legal team knew – or should have known – that KÜHL owned the trademark ‘The Outsider.’ KÜHL now has an obligation to enforce our trademark and protect our customers from confusion.”
An interesting side note: L.L. Bean, famously based in the state of Maine, has plans to open a new store in Park City, Utah next year. KÜHL's flagship store is based there.