New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. has sued LVMH Moet Hennessy, alleging that Louis Vuitton's Minstrel sneaker intentionally copies New Balance's 574's shape and coloring. Paris-based Louis Vuitton started selling the Minstrel for $590 last month.

In its complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, New Balance alleges that the Minstrel mimics the 574's shape and construction. The suede version comes in gray – the top-selling color for the 574, which sells for $75. The initials “LV” also are located in the same place as the “N” on New Balance sneakers.


New Balance said the 574, first introduced in the mid-1990s, is extremely popular with the general public and in fashion and celebrity circles, with 20 million-plus pairs sold since 2002.

New Balance is seeking an injunction against further sales of the model, a court-ordered recall, any profits LVMH made from products found to be infringing and unspecified damages.