Skechers USA, Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Asics Corporation and Asics America Corporation for trade libel, unfair competition and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage and economic business relations. Skechers seeks injunctive relief enjoining Asics from engaging in further unlawful acts, disgorgement of Asics' profits, attorneys' fees and $100 million in punitive damages. Skechers also seeks a declaration that none of its designs infringe upon Asics' trademarks. The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on February 26, 2007.
“We believe that Asics has engaged in a campaign of unfair competition and trade libel against Skechers by improperly issuing press releases and filing a lawsuit to disseminate false public information about Skechers,” says Philip G. Paccione, General Counsel of Skechers. “We also believe that these false statements were made with malice as they contradict sworn testimony of Asics' executives. These falsehoods threaten Skechers' reputation of being hip, cutting edge and original in its shoe designs, and they will interfere with customer relationships.”
Skechers' lawsuit is in response to an Asics' lawsuit and press release asserting that certain Skechers designs infringed Asics' trademark.
Paccione continued: “It is obvious to the footwear trade as well as to the average consumer that the designs are different. Furthermore, no consumer will be confused by the Skechers' styles considering how prominently and frequently Skechers marks its packaging and footwear with the globally recognized SKECHERS trademark and logo. In light of this, Asics' campaign is nothing more than an attempt to monopolize the use of common footwear design elements and undermine legitimate competition by issuing false public statements that intimidate trade customers.”