Anton Oparin /
22 January 2015Trademarks

Converse and Ralph Lauren ‘reach settlement’ in shoe fight

US fashion brand Ralph Lauren, one of more than 30 companies sued by Converse for trademark infringement, has reportedly settled with the shoe maker.

Converse and Ralph Lauren have seemingly agreed a deal that will see Ralph Lauren destroy all shoes whose designs had allegedly infringed trademarks belonging to Converse.

The complaints centre on Converse’s signature Chuck Taylor sneaker, first introduced in 1917.

A section 337 investigation into the Ralph Lauren shoes was pending before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) before the reported settlement.

In October last year, WIPR reported that Converse, which has been owned by sportswear multinational Nike since 2003, had sued 31 retailers and rival shoe designers in separate lawsuits at the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the ITC.

The lawsuits called for monetary damages and an injunction against the companies, which also included Walmart, Fila, Kmart, Skechers, and several others.

But, according to Fast Company, a website covering news about business and innovation, Ralph Lauren and Converse filed a joint motion to terminate their ITC case.

Converse said it owns trademarks and trade dress for the Chuck Taylor’s “distinctive midsole design made up of a toe bumper and a toe cap, plus an upper strike and/or a lower stripe”.

It added that the defendants had been selling “confusingly similar” imitations in similar channels of trade, resulting in a likely confusion. Among the Ralph Lauren shoes that Converse targeted was the Ranell brand.

Neither Ralph Lauren nor Converse responded to a request for comment.

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15 October 2014   US shoemaker Converse has put the boot into more than 30 companies by accusing them of infringing its trademark for the design of one of its signature trainers.