Manhattan Beach footwear giant Skechers USA Inc. is suing designer shoemaker Steve Madden, saying some of that company’s shoes too closely resemble Skechers’ products.
The suit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, alleges that a Steve Madden shoe called Setta infringes on patents for Skechers’ Go Walk line. It’s the latest action Skechers has taken against rival shoe companies it says are ripping off its products.
“Skechers has invested tremendous resources into designing, developing, advertising and patenting our Skechers Go Walk and our other popular product lines and has built them into a name and look globally recognized and synonymous with Skechers,” Chief Operating Officer David Weinberg said in a statement.
He added that Steve Madden is “selling its infringing footwear to Skechers’ wholesale customers and in other sales channels where the Skechers products are sold, and we believe this is causing us enormous damage.”
Steve Madden officials did not return calls for comment.
Skechers is seeking compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief for infringing on a variety of Skechers’ patents.
The company has lately been a fierce – and litigious – guardian of its patents. Last year, Skechers made similar patent-infringement claims against San Francisco’s DB Shoe Company, Fila U.S.A. Inc.’s Amazen Memory Mocs and Reebok International’s Walk Ahead RS shoes.
However, Skechers was on the receiving end of a lawsuit filed by New York’s Aura Technologies last year, alleging four Skechers shoe models infringed upon its patented Aura Mercury sneaker. Skechers has also been targeted by similar suits in 2010 by Asics Corp. and in 2008 by Crocs Inc. A Puerto Rican company said last year that Skechers had infringed on a patent for a ratings-based sorting system used on its website. However, that case was dismissed.
Skechers shares fell 3 percent Wednesday to close at $114.23.
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