New Balance has kicked off a trademark action against Nike-owned Converse concerning its PF Flyers brand and the Converse trademark on Chuck Taylors. New Balance is requesting that the Federal Court in NY cancel the Converse trademark registration, which was obtained in 2013, so that they may continue selling their version of the shoe. New Balance has set out in court filed papers that the products are different enough and that consumers are unlikely to confuse the two.
Last October saw Converse file a trademark action against 31 companies, notably not including New Balance, who they accused of infringing their trademark by producing knock-offs of their famous Chuck Taylor designed shoe. Should Converse be successful in this action New Balance has indicated their concern as to how such a ruling would be enforced.
While both New Balance and Converse have been selling their different, but arguably similar, styles of footwear since the 1940s this action is highlighted now following Converse seeking to protect their own footwear brand from the ever growing knock-off market. Converse has commented that they are committed to protecting their legitimate trademark rights and shall respond to this new action brought by New Balance accordingly.