Adidas have recently celebrated an early victory in their ongoing footwear feud with Skechers, being granted a preliminary injunction, (pending the final outcome of the trial), prohibiting Skechers from selling three types of sneakers and from using the term "Supernova" in relation to their products.
"Adidas had accused Skechers of an "unabashed assault" on, and an "egregious infringement" of, its intellectual property rights and asserted that there has been a violation of its "Stan Smith" sneaker trade dress (the shoe made famous by tennis star Stan Smith with it shape, green markings and perforations), its well-known three-stripe trademark, and its "Supernova" trademark associated with its running shoes. Adidas also claims that Skechers have been using metadata to redirect online customers searching for the Adidas Stan Smith sneaker to its "knock-off" — the "Onix".
This is the latest in a long history of intellectual property disputes between the world’s top footwear giants. Skechers was tied up last year with infringement complaints of its own in relation to its "GoWalk" shoe line and is also on the receiving end of trademark infringement claims in relation to its Flyknit designs.
An Oregon federal judge found that Sketchers' Onix shoes are a near exact copy of Adidas' famous Stan Smith sneakers and it is reported that he could not distinguish between them in court. The decision is not final, and with Skechers expressing an intent to appeal the decision, it remains to be seen who will champion in the ongoing sneaker wars.