Converse Files 22 Trademark Infringement Suits - Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
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Converse Files 22 Trademark Infringement Suits

Converse Files 22 Trademark Infringement Suits

At nearly a century old and arguably an American Icon, the Converse All Stars is one of the most recognizable shoes in the world. On Oct. 14, 2014 Converse filed 22 trademark infringement suits in the United States District Court in Brooklyn, against 31 companies including Walmart, Kmart and Skechers.  Additional complaints were filed with the International Trade Commission in federal court for monetary damages and to prevent knock-offs from entering into the country.

The Nike-owned retailer aims to protect the iconic mid-sole canvas sneaker also dubbed the Chuck Taylor or Chucks, and their main goal is getting the counterfeits off of the shelves. Converse claims that retailers have infringed on at least one of the company’s trademark designs. The design elements in question are the rubber cap toe, one or two stripes and the “diamond pattern” sole.

For fashion retailers, trademark infringement claims are especially difficult to prove. It is not enough to show the popularity of the design; the company must prove that consumers associate the specific design element with the manufacturer as its source.  For more information about the suits, see http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/15/business/converse-sues-to-protect-its-chuck-taylor-all-stars.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=HpSumMediumMediaFloated&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

 

Kai Reevey

Kai Reevey is a second-year law student at Fordham University School of Law and a staff member of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media, and Entertainment Law Journal. Her interest in IP stems from years of management in the fashion and e-commerce industries. When she is not hard at work or at the law library, she enjoys days spent at the museum and evenings at the ballet.