Don’t Chuck With Us: Converse Is Suing a Bunch of Copycats

Coverse is suing several companies for trademark infringement against its Chuck Taylor All Star.

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Converse's Chuck Taylor All Star has been in the game for nearly a century and has transcended beyond its basketball roots to become the quintessential casual sneaker for EVERYONE. As its bread-and-butter product, you better believe Converse will do just about everything in its power to protect its canvas sneaker. And that's exactly what it's doing.

According to The New York Times, Converse is suing 31 companies, including Walmart and Skechers, claiming trademark infringement against its Chuck Taylor All Star. The Nike-owned brand is accusing these companies of copying some of the Chuck Taylor's signature elements, like its toecap design and black midsole stripes.

Converse is suing for monetary damages, but the ultimate goal is to get these copycat sneakers off of shelves.

“The goal really is to stop this action,” Converse CEO Jim Calhoun told the Times. “I think we’re quite fortunate here to be in the possession of what we would consider to be an American icon.”

While it may be obvious that the copycat designs in the market were inspired by the Chuck Taylor All Star, trademark infringement is difficult to prove when it comes to fashion. 

“It can’t just be that consumers like your design. It can’t just be that your design is different or novel or interesting. It has to be that consumers associate the design with the source of the design,” University of Pennsylvania Law School professor R. Polk Wagner told the Times. “The functionality limitation and the requirement that the design identify source makes it pretty difficult to win these cases.”

[via The New York Times]



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