Converse Dismisses Trademark Infringement Lawsuits Against Big Retailers, Including Ralph Lauren and H&M

MIAMI, FL - OCTOBER 14: Converse shoes are seen in a store on October 14, 2014 in Miami, Florida. Converse, owned by Nike, announced it is filing lawsuits against 31 companies, accusing them of trademark infringement on its widely recognizable Chuck Taylor shoe. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

For me, it seems like Converse has always been around. In middle school, I remember doodling on the white soles of my classic black Chuck Taylors, writing song lyrics and other nonsense. And by the time I got to college, Converse had become popular once again (maybe they always were?), and everyone from street style fashionistas to sorority girls in leggings and oversized T-shirts were wearing them to class. The brand is currently enjoying a massive amount of success — but with that, comes the unfortunately inevitable reality that other brands might try to capitalize on that success. In September, Converse filed lawsuits against more than 30 retailers and manufacturers for trademark infringement. However, Converse has now reportedly dismissed a handful of those — including lawsuits against some of the biggest retailers on the list, like Ralph Lauren, Zulily, and H&M.

Sneakers have become HUGE in fashion circles lately, resulting in tons of copy-cat designs in the past year or so. In 2014, Karl Lagerfeld designed a shoe that looked incredibly similar to New Balance sneakers (which have also become very trendy and chic as of late), and many questioned whether or not New Balance would strike back with a lawsuit. The athleisure trend has meant that classic sneaker brands like Nike, Converse, and New Balance are super in-demand. 

These OG designs are certainly favored over similar off-brand models, but even so — it makes sense that these brands would want to protect their products from knock-offs. While retailers like H&M may have thousands of different shoe offerings for sale at one time, brands like Converse and New Balance live and die by their sneaker designs.

The newfound surge of high-fashion obsession with sneakers is a big and incredibly important step for most sneaker brands. When copy-cat retailers and big-name designers try to mimic the designs, it dilutes the power of the name brand and that brand's signature shoe styles. 

However, as Fashionista pointed out, lawsuits such as the ones Converse filed in September almost always settle out of court and mean a lot of fees for Converse. It appears that maybe those 31 lawsuits were ultimately not worth the cost for the brand, as most of the biggest lawsuits (including one against Tory Burch) have been dropped in the past month.

Converse has yet to reply to our request for comment, but we will update when they do.

Image: Getty Images

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