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Walmart settles Vans trademark lawsuit claiming copycat shoes

Nov 9 (Reuters) – Walmart (WMT.N) and Vans have settled a trademark lawsuit that accused the retail giant of ripping off the designs of Vans’ best-selling shoes, according to filings in California federal court.
The companies told the court on Wednesday that they had resolved the dispute and that Walmart had agreed to a court order permanently blocking it from selling the alleged knockoffs.
More details about the settlement were not available. Company representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.
Walmart had denied Vans’ allegations. The case was set to go to trial later this month.
Costa Mesa, California-based Vans’ shoes first gained fame in the 1970s among skateboarders in southern California. It has since become a global brand owned by Denver-based VF Corp (VFC.N).
Vans sued Walmart in 2021 for allegedly copying “virtually all” of Vans’ best-selling sneakers, including its Old Skool low-top and Sk8-Hi high-top shoes. The lawsuit said that Walmart’s copies, which cost less than $20, were “cheap, poorly made, and confusingly similar” to $60 Vans.
U.S. District Judge David Carter granted Vans’ request to temporarily block sales of the Walmart shoes last year. Carter rejected Vans’ bid to hold Walmart in contempt for allegedly violating the order later that year.
Vans had asked the court for Walmart’s profits from the shoes and other monetary damages, as well as an order permanently blocking the shoes’ sales.
The case is Vans Inc v. Walmart Inc, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, No. 8:21-cv-01876.
For Vans: Nick Hoffman, Tanya Greene, and Lucy Wheatley of McGuireWoods
For Walmart: Lawrence Iser of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump Steinsapir; Anthony Lo Cicero of Amster Rothstein & Ebenstein
Read more:
Vans sues Walmart over alleged sneaker knockoffs
Vans wins temporary ban on sales of Walmart’s ‘knockoff’ sneakers
Vans accuses Walmart of ‘doubling down’ on copycat shoe sales
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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, for Reuters Legal. He has previously written for Bloomberg Law and Thomson Reuters Practical Law and practiced as an attorney.
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