Agassi Sues Target Over Unauthorized Flip-Flops

Andre Agassi is suing Target for slapping his name on a pair of brown men’s flip-flops without his permission, says the AP.

Agassi Enterprises Inc. says it told Target the shoes violated its trademark, but continued to see them on store shelves and on-line—even after Target said it would pull the item. Target says it is trying to relabel the flip-flops and that it never marketed the shoes under Agassi’s name.

“It may have been missed in a few stores, which prompted this lawsuit,” Target said.

The lawsuit alleges that Target sold over $600,000 worth of fake Agassi sandals and is seeking triple that amount in damages because the infringement was “was of an intentional, willful and wanton nature.” Scandalous. Hey, Target, look at it this way— at least the flip-flops didn’t scar anyone’s feet.

Return shot [Sports Illustrated]


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  1. target_veteran says:

    OK, this lawsuit is utterly rediculous.

    I used to work at Target, as a Shoe specialist. Target uses a fairly standard naming scheme for all their shoes, based on shoe type and the captive brand the shoes release under. Each shoe receives a name starting with a certain letter of the alphabet. If I remember correctly, casual shoes and sandals for one of the men’s brands (Mossimo red?) all received names starting with “A,” like Andre. Normally these are fairly obscure names. You woulnd’t see Amy, buy you would see Amara.

    I’m guessing that Target has someone at corporate that’s supposed to check branding on these things, but stuff slips through the cracks. When a name change is instituted, it takes a while to filter through the system. Generally, they ship out little stick-on labels that employees are supposed to place over the existing print on the box. This is done both at the distribution center and the local store level.

    I don’t know why the web site didn’t update immediately. The only reason I could guess is that they didn’t want to change it until they could change everything, just in case people had the shoes in a gift registry or something.

    Then again, Agassi needs to sue to protect his trademark, otherwise he loses it. I’d bet that they end up settling out of court to save face and legal fees all around.

  2. d0x says:

    Sorry to say but Target is often guilty of selling ripoffs, counterfeits or breaking trademark rules such as this…

  3. ElizabethD says:

    Is there a totenkopf on those sandals? A Hindu swastika?

    Hey, I can always hope.

  4. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @target_veteran: It doesn’t say that the sandals said “Andre” on them, it says they used “the Agassi name.” A sandal named “Andre” would not have been grounds for a lawsuit, but check it out — the sandals were branded as “Agassi.” Does the naming policy specifically allow use of surnames?

    Call me crazy, but I think Michael Jordan would have grounds to sue if Target put out a line of sneakers with “Jordan” on them. Both Agassi and Jordan have endorsement deals with other shoe companies, so it’s doubly important that they keep their names off of non-endorsed shoes.

  5. cde says:

    @CumaeanSibyl: Actually, he might, since his name is licensed for a similar product. If Targetto labels a pair of Sneakers Jordan’s, some people will think they are Nike Jordans.