Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Skechers: This is Rich!

Skechers, a shoe company which has made a name for being the king of theft when it comes to stealing other shoe companies' hottest designs, is counter-suing Asics, which recently went after them for allegedly knocking off one of its lifestyle styles.

^^The shoes in question

Skechers USA, Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Asics Corporation and Asics America Corporation for trade libel, unfair competition and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage and economic business relations. Skechers seeks injunctive relief enjoining Asics from engaging in further unlawful acts, disgorgement of Asics' profits, attorneys' fees and $100 million in punitive damages. Skechers also seeks a declaration that none of its designs infringe upon Asics' trademarks.

"We believe that Asics has engaged in a campaign of unfair competition and trade libel against Skechers by improperly issuing press releases and filing a lawsuit to disseminate false public information about Skechers," says Philip G. Paccione, General Counsel of Skechers. "We also believe that these false statements were made with malice as they contradict sworn testimony of Asics' executives. These falsehoods threaten Skechers' reputation of being hip, cutting edge and original in its shoe designs, and they will interfere with customer relationships."

Skechers' lawsuit is in response to an Asics' lawsuit and press release asserting that certain Skechers designs infringed Asics' trademark.

The lawyers for Skechers must do side work as stand-up comedians! For real though, those guys don't feel any way about suing people. Perhaps it's just a scare tactic, but considering the fact that I'm even thinking I shouldn't write anything bad about Skechers on my little blog, I'd say it's effective!

On another note, I know a big cheese at a company that Skechers likes to "borrow" from and he explained that Skechers are experts at copying shoes in a way that keeps them out of hot water. Apparently the company knows exactly where and how much it has to alter its knock-offs so that that it's immune to litigation. Just looking at the two shoes side-by-side and remembering other copies that struck me as much more egregious, I have a feeling that Asics might lose this battle.

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