FASHION LAW: CONVERSE FINALLY SUES SNEAKER COPYCATS
Converse “Connectivity” Ad Campaign by Anomaly
I think we’ve all been awaiting the day the definitive All-Star giant would crack down on its impostors. It isn’t an exaggeration to coin near century-old Converse as one of the most iconic footwear brands in history. Originally created to make basketball shoes in 1918, the canvas Chuck Taylor’s have been integrated into and defined so many niches throughout American history that the national psyche automatically associates the rubber toecap and bumper to the (since 2003) Nike subsidiary.
Naturally with such a large following from skaters to rebels, Converse’s coveted Chuck Taylor design would be ripped off by other retailers churning out watered-down versions for lower prices. Pilfering the rubber topper designs, department stores like Walmart and Kmart, and sneaker companies like Skechers are being targeted for trademark infringement as well as 31 other companies. Since Tuesday October 14th, Converse has filed 22 separate lawsuits in the United States District Court in Brooklyn. In addition to suing for monetary damages, Converse will register a complaint to the International Trade Commission to prevent any shoes considered counterfeit from entering the country.
The classic All-Stars start at $50 while Wal-Mart’s “Stinson Oxford Lace-up” shoes go for a mere $12.93. Almost virtually indistinguishable, a plucky parent would probably spring for the imitation pair. “The goal really is to stop this action,” said Jim Calhoun, the Converse chief executive, to the New York Times.