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Saturday, May 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Converse Takes a Stand on Chuck Taylor Infringement

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CN) - Walmart, Kmart, Skechers, Ralph Lauren, H&M and others are hawking knockoff Chuck Taylors, Converse claims in 19 different federal actions Tuesday.

The 100-year-old North Andover, Mass., shoe company wants the stores to stop importing knockoffs of its iconic shoes, and it wants all alleged knockoffs destroyed. It also seeks unspecified damages for trademark infringement.

In conjunction with its filing, Converse said it also asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to launch an investigation based on the "unlawful importation" of "certain footwear products" that it says violates its trademarks.

Converse says it has sent out 120 cease-and-desist letters at trade shows to "protect consumer perceptions and to police" its trademark.

With more than 1 billion sold, Chuck Taylors are ubiquitous, appearing "in rock clubs, on the streets, on rappers, icons, celebrities, rebels and originals," according to one of the 19 complaints, against Walmart.

The lawsuit takes aim at 41 different companies selling shoes it says cashes in on its famous brand. At issue are such shoes like Joe Boxer from Kmart, the Tom's shoe by Skechers, and the Ranell from Ralph Lauren. Also included is Ed Hardy's "Men's Dakota."

Converse seeks unspecified damages for violations of its trademark, false designation of origin, dilution and unlawful deceptive acts.

It is represented by Robert Powley with Powley & Gibson PC.

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