Sears Sued Over Shape-ups’ Trademark and Patent

By Joseph Mandour on July 1, 2011

shoes-thumb-200x133-29738San Diego – Last week in a California District Court, Sketchers filed a complaint against mega-retailer Sears, charging it with patent and trademark infringement. The alleged infringement involves Sketcher’s Shape-Up product line, which it claims is being copy-catted and sold at Sears and Kmart stores.

The popular athletic toning shoe has been a hot item for Sketchers, the Manhattan Beach, CA manufacturer of lifestyle footwear. Sears and Kmart are selling the shoe under the Paris Blues, Melrose Avenue, and Therashoe brand names. Over the past few years, toning shoes have risen in popularity because of their claim to help the shoe-wearer burn more calories by using a patent technology utilizing thick, curved soles, which supposedly increases muscle activity and tone. Other companies such as Reebok and New Balance have developed their own lines of toning shoes.

Attorneys for Sketchers say that the company spent a considerable amount of money and resources to develop the shoe line, obtaining over 150 trademarks and patents for it. The Sketchers complaint is charging Sears with trade dress infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition.

Sketchers is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

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