In October 2014 we reported here in the Reading Room, that Converse the makers of the famous Chuck Taylor basketball sneaker sued 31 firms for alleged trade mark infringement. The article can be found at:
Ralph Lauren was one of the 31 companies that had been sued. It has now emerged that Ralph Lauren have reached a legal settlement agreement to destroy all similar designs. Both Ralph Lauren and Converse have filed a joint motion to end the case pending before the U.S. International Trade Commission.
As part of the Settlement agreement Ralph Lauren will destroy all lookalike products that were named in the Converse complaint. The complaint included a list of 36 different styles ranging from Western Leather to Camouflage shoes. The International Trade Commission found that a total of 36 designs infringed on Converse’s trade marks.
The Settlement agreement sets out that within 30 days of the agreement going into effect Ralph Lauren are bound to destroy the footwear, along with parts, moulds, tools, advertising and promotional materials as well as any other packaging that is specific to the infringing styles. Ralph Lauren will also be paying Converse damages, the amount of which is undisclosed.
Converses have indicated that “it is not really about the money”. Converse’s main concern is to eradicate products that clearly copy the design of their iconic Chuck Taylor basketball sneakers.
In October 2014 Jim Calhoun, the Converse chief executive told the New York times “The goal really is to stop this action” he further commented “I think we’re quite fortunate here to be in the possession of what we would consider to be an American icon”.
Written by Fozia Cheychi- A Work Experience Student.