Fashion Law

Skechers Says Steve Madden Used its Shoe Patents

Skechers USA Inc. filed a lawsuit against Steven Madden Ltd. for allegedly infringing on numerous “Skechers Go Walk” designs. These design elements are protected under its Skechers’ shoe patents.

Three of the shoes above are by Skechers. Can you tell which is the allegedly infringing Setta style from the Steven by Steve Madden collection?

The shoe lawsuit, filed July 7,2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that Steven Madden improperly infringed on six different patents held by Skechers.

The patents all involve construction details: the shoes’ uppers, outsoles, and bottoms.

These two brands were in court together in 2011 when Skechers sued Steve Madden for infringing its patented Twinkle Toes line. This shoe patent case settled out of court.

In sports footwear, Skechers’ U.S. sales are only behind Nike

Skechers’ sales grew to $768 million (up 41%) during the first three months of this year. Skechers even surpassed Adidas, becoming the second-largest sports footwear brand (considering the U.S. market share). This growth is largely from sales of the Go Walk line.

Skechers has steadily protected this growth. Last year, Skechers filed fashion law infringement suits against Fila and Reebok. The brand has definitely learned a lot from the Skechers Shape-up toning shoe lawsuit days.

Skechers' Go Walk patents design and the allegedly shoe patent infringing Steve Madden Setta style.

Skechers’ Go Walk patents (top) and the Steve Madden Setta style (bottom) Via Footwear News

Steve Maddents Setta Style shoes do look a lot like the Skechers Go Walk patent drawing. But even more so like Nike’s HTM Air Woven shoes from 2002. It will be interesting to see if Steve Madden uses the older Nike shoes to try to invalidate Skechers’ shoe patents. At the very least Steve Madden may claim its Setta Style inspiration came from Nike. 😉

Nike's HTM Air Woven from 2002

Marshall Lerner and Vivian Wang of Kleinberg & Lerner law firm in Los Angeles are representing Skechers in this fashion law case.

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