Converse claims 31 retailers and manufacturers have infringed on one or more of its Chuck Taylor shoe’s trademark designs.
With its rubber-toe front and recognizable star, Converse introduced its first sneaker created for basketball players, the All Star, in 1917. Its most popular spokesman, Chuck Taylor, a famous basketball player, joined the company in the early 1920s. A shoe was born: the “Converse Chuck Taylor All Star”. Or “Chucks”, for short.
The almost 100 year old American footwear company now says some of the most distinctive elements of its well known Chuck Taylor sneakers — black stripes and a rubber toe topper — are being copied by parties such as Walmart, Kmart, Skechers and many others.
And like a true basketball shoe maker, it takes its adversaries to court. 31 companies in 22 separate lawsuits are accused of trademark infringement.
According to Converse (owned by Nike since 2003) it is not about monetary damages, but mainly to get the “imposters” of the shelves.
For Converse this may prove to be a very important case. If they win: they are given a sword to attack others with. However, if they lose, it may very well open the door for many others that wish to profit from the iconic design of the ‘Chucks’.