Athletic shoes are big business in the country. Manufacturers go to great lengths to create shoes with unique features to improve the performance and comfort of their shoes as well as to create designs that help their products stand out.
Shoe companies often patent these unique features to prevent other companies from using technology they've developed. For example, Skechers USA Inc. patented the soles used in its Skech-Air line of shoes. The soles are made of semi-opaque, pillow-like cells.
According to Skechers, another shoe company, Bernie Mev, has been using that sole in several of its styles of shoes, most notably its Gummies style. It is suing the distribution company for Bernie Mev, Elyia Inc., in Central California District Court for patent infringement.
Skechers is seeking part of Eliya's profits from the sales of the shoes in question. It's also seeking damages as well as attorneys' fees.
Skechers' chief financial officer noted in a statement that the company will also take legal action against any retailer that sells Bernie Mev shoes with the Skechers patented sole. He also explained why the company felt that legal action was necessary in this case.
The CFO said, "Considering our investment in the Skech-Air by Skechers product lines ... we will not allow anyone to infringe on our valuable intellectual properties." He said that the company will take "similar action" against any other company that "develops any products that infringe on the patents and trade dress" of any of their product lines.
Any company that believes that one of its patents is being infringed upon should act as quickly as possible. This can help send a message to other manufacturers, distributors and retailers about how much it values its patents and discourage further infringement.
Source: Footwear News, "Skechers Sues Bernie Mev Distributor For Patent Infringement," Margaret Sutherlin, April 27, 2016