Skechers settles trademark infringement lawsuit with Brooks – Sourcing Journal

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Skechers asked a judge to dismiss with prejudice its June trademark infringement lawsuit against Brooks after the companies reached an out-of-court settlement, according to documents filed Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles.

Skechers’ original complaint alleged that the running shoe maker had capitalized on a mark similar to the “S” logo of old. A number of recent Brooks sneaker styles including the Levitate 5, Levitate GTS 5, Levitate StealthFit 5, Levitate StealthFit 5 GTS, Revel 5, and Caldera 5 feature an italicized version of the number “5” which is “virtually indistinguishable from Skechers”. well-known “S” brands. Skechers said “Brooks’ actions demonstrate an intentional, deliberate and malicious intent to trade on the goodwill associated with the ‘S’ marks…to the great and irreparable harm of Skechers.” The company demanded that Brooks immediately stop selling the offending shoes and sought damages for the sale of the styles in question.

Skechers claimed to have spent “hundreds of millions of dollars building and promoting its brand”, including various versions of its stylized “S”. Brooks, despite knowing Skechers brands, used a “confusingly similar” symbol on its new models. The placement of the “5” mark on the silhouettes of Brooks’ sneakers added to the confusion, Skechers alleged, noting that it often appeared on the shoe’s tongue, separate from other marks and markings. Many Skechers shoes also display an “S” in the same location.

Brooks and Skechers trainers with similar markings.

Skechers

In February, Skechers’ attorney sent Brooks a cease and desist request, which Brooks denied in March. Skechers also learned that Brooks was selling the offending shoe styles in the EU and sought a region-wide preliminary injunction from the Düsseldorf Regional Court in Germany in April to restrain the import, export, advertising or selling products that featured the “5” mark. The claim was granted, as the German court found that there was “a substantial likelihood of confusion” between the two marks based on the fact that both companies manufacture and sell shoes and sneakers. The court also noted a “high degree of similarity between the signs”.

A spokesperson for Brooks told the Sourcing Journal that the lawsuit was settled out of court. Representatives for Skechers did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

The case is not Brooks’ first encounter with trademark infringement charges. In July, Puma filed a lawsuit claiming Brooks infringed its trademarks and patents by copying foam molding technology from utility patent applications it submitted in January 2020. It also alleged that he had “information and belief” that Brooks had contacted a Puma manufacturer in order to copy the foam, submitting his own patent application for “the same foam molding process” used in Puma’s Nitro-branded shoes. Puma in December 2020.

“Brooks does not infringe any Puma intellectual property, and all of Puma’s allegations are without merit,” the company said in a statement at the time. The case is still pending in an Indiana district court.

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