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Law of luxury goods series: Case study – Converse v its competitors

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The news chattered the fashion world last year, when Nike and Converse announced that they were suing many of their competitors for infringement of the “Chuck Taylor” iconic shoe. Learn all about this gritty case here.

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Law of luxury goods series: Case study – Converse v its competitors

  1. 1. 10 February 2015 ialci law of luxury goods and fashion series Converse vs the world: An epic tale of fashion design protection in a very competitive environment
  2. 2. 2 So what’s the story? ialci law of luxury goods and fashion series
  3. 3. 3 Why did Converse and Nike sue? ialci law of luxury goods and fashion series •  Converse invented the Chuck Taylor sneakers in 1917 •  Nike owns Converse since ‘03: revival of Converse’s IP assets •  Converse’s sales in ‘03: $205 m – Converse’s sales in ‘14: $1.7bn •  Increase in popularity = explosion in knockoff activity •  Since ’08, Converse sent 180 cease-and-desist letters to competitors •  In October ‘14, Converse filed law suits against 31 competitors
  4. 4. 4 On which legal grounds has Converse filed these law suits? ialci law of luxury goods and fashion series
  5. 5. 5 Trademark infringement ialci law of luxury goods and fashion series A trademarked shoe midsole design: made up of a toe bumper and a toe cap, plus an upper stripe and/or a lower stripe
  6. 6. 6 Trademark infringement ialci law of luxury goods and fashion series A trademarked outsole design, which includes a distinct diamond pattern
  7. 7. 7 Trademark infringement ialci law of luxury goods and fashion series A trademarked outsole design, which includes a distinct diamond pattern
  8. 8. 8 Use of trademark infringement for lack of design rights in the US ialci law of luxury goods and fashion series •  No protection of fashion design as such, in the US •  “insufficiencies in framework for protection against design piracy”, Michael Pantaloni, ex-LVMH in-house counsel •  Use of trademarks to enforce design rights in the US •  Need to prove that the design trademark is not functional
  9. 9. 9 Anything else, folks? ialci law of luxury goods and fashion series
  10. 10. 10 Ralph Laurent / Converse: why it was probably wise to settle ialci law of luxury goods and fashion series
  11. 11. 11 ialci law of luxury goods and fashion series Converse vs the world: An epic tale of fashion design protection in a very competitive environment Annabelle Gauberti Crefovi founding partner – President of ialci annabelle.gauberti@crefovi.com @Crefovi on Twitter ialci law of luxury goods and fashion series

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