Converse Suing 31 Companies For Allegedly Selling Knock-Off Chuck Taylor Sneakers

You’ve seen them on hipsters, your mom, that girl who lived down the hall from you freshman year, maybe you wear them — the point is, Converse’s Chuck Taylor All-Stars, or Chucks, as they’re known by fans, are worn by a whole lot of different kinds of people. Though once the shoe of choice for mainly greasers, nonconformists and athletes, nowadays the sneaker look is appealing to a wide range of people. It’s that popularity that has other companies churning out knock-offs, claims Nike’s Converse in a new lawsuit against 31 companies for allegedly copying the style.

Things like black stripes on the side of the white rubber sole, a rubber toe topper and other design elements have been ripped from Chucks by companies like Walmart, Kmart and Skechers, Converse claims, accusing those companies and others of trademark infringement in 22 separate lawsuits filed yesterday, reports the New York Times. Converse has been owned by Nike since 2003.

Converse wants money out of the lawsuit, but what it really seeks is to rid the shelves of any lookalikes. To achieve that, it’s filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission, which could then keep so-called counterfeit shoes from coming into the country.

“The goal really is to stop this action,” Jim Calhoun, the Converse chief executive told the NYT. “I think we’re quite fortunate here to be in the possession of what we would consider to be an American icon.”

Walmart, Kmart and Skechers didn’t comment to the NYT.

Converse Sues to Protect Its Chuck Taylor All Stars [New York Times]

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