Converse sues 31 retailers over Chuck Taylor Knockoffs

Converse sues 31 retailers over Chuck Taylor Knockoffs

Converse, the American-based shoe company which is a subsidiary of Nike, is suing 31 different companies that include both retailers and manufacturers for allegedly ripping off its Chuck Taylor all star.

The top retailers have been sued by Converse for the unauthorized use of certain "elements" that are typical to the company, like the shoes rubber soles and black stripes in knockoff versions. Some of the companies named in the suit are Walmart, Fila, Ralph Lauren, Kmart and Skechers.

In a statement forwarded to The Huffington Post, Jim Calhoun, Converse's president and chief executive, said, "For generations, the Chuck Taylor, universally known as the 'Chuck,' has captured the hearts and minds of millions of consumers, selling over a billion pairs globally during the past century. We welcome fair competition, but we do not believe companies have the right to copy the Chuck's trademarked look".

Converse All-Stars first hit the market back in 1917. In the early 1920s, it paved the way for celebrity-branded sneakers. It was renamed Chuck Taylor All-Stars after the eponymous basketball player became an evangelist for the shoe.

The star-logo patch of these canvas shoes has been inscribed with a view to protect the ankle. Over the years, the initial canvas rubber-toed shoes evolved from an athletic type of shoes to the essential footwear of grunge and punk rockers.

In all, Converse has filed two complaints, the first one is for suing for monetary damages and the other one because the brand is also looking towards having the knockoffs removed from its stores. So, this second complaint filed with the International Trade Commission would prevent any new knockoffs from even coming into the country.

According to NPR, Law professor Chris Sprigman, this legal battle won't be an easy one to win but the one thing that works in favor of Converse is that its star logo is a protected copyright and so it can't be copied.

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