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Converse sues over copycat designs

Converse is suing 31 companies which it believes are mass-producing, distributing or selling sneakers that copy the design of its Chuck Taylor shoe.

The US footwear brand has filed multiple lawsuits in the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Eastern District of New York.

“Our decision to bring these lawsuits is grounded in the basic principle of fairness, our well-established right and responsibility to protect Converse’s intellectual property, and our commitment to prevent consumer confusion in the marketplace,” said Jim Calhoun, president and chief executive of Converse.

The brand, which was bought by Nike in 2003, has sold over a billion pairs of the ‘Chuck’ during the past century.

“We welcome fair competition, but we do not believe companies have a right to copy the Chuck’s trademarked look,” added Calhoun.

The company said knockoff Chucks used to be a rarity, but since 2008 it has served more than 180 cease and desist letters asserting its rights to the “iconic midsole” and the outside diamond pattern of the Converse trademarks.

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