Case Study

Alleged
Infringement
Tries To Sneak By

Jayaram defended a prolific sneaker  company in the world. When they needed top defense, and quickly, they turned to our in-house Sneaker Law expert (who quite literally wrote the book on the field).

Client Challenge

In 2020, a designer sneaker influencer created a sneaker inspired by contemporaries like A Bathing Ape, Hender Scheme, and a handful of other brands that reinterpret a global footwear brand’s iconic silhouette. Then, in August of 2021, the global brand brought suit against our client, alleging that certain elements were there registered trademarks and prohibit the manufacture and sale of the sneaker in question. Our client needed expert TM counsel to help defend against the corporate giant. Specifically they needed counsel with a deep and practical knowledge of design, the sneaker industry at-large, and the politics of the sneaker space. Naturally, they came to us for our expertise.

Strategies, Tactics, and Solutions

Jayaram Law’s litigation team immediately put the corporation on the defensive with a motion to dismiss, followed by an answer with counterclaims and a declaratory action seeking the cancellation of the brand’s trademarks for the shoe. In the meantime, the corporation sought to use their PR machine to label our client a copycat and infringer, while our client retaliated with his own publicity campaign, effectively turning the tables on the brand standing in the public eye.

Jayaram sought broad discovery from the plaintiff, including discovery regarding the basis of its claims, their failure to enforce against other similar sneaker  

designers, and the lack of likely or actual confusion. Moreover, we served third party subpoenas on other brands that made their own inspired sneakers with seemingly no retribution from the sneaker giant, which increased the pressure on the plaintiff and emphasized its historical failure to police the marketplace.

Favorable Outcomes & Happy Clients

Our client, with the guidance of Jayaram’s defense team, proved that they would not be bullied into submission. The vigorous defense of this lawsuit put our client in a position of strength and leverage, especially considering it had initially lost endorsements and other business relations when the lawsuit was first announced.

Ultimately, our client was able to resolve the lawsuit through an amicable resolution on terms that allow them to continue building their brand. The plaintiff even publicly acknowledged after the lawsuit was settled that it respected our client and designers like him.