Walking into a Trademark Dispute

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The latest shoe dispute involves AirWair International Ltd. (“AirWair”), who manufactures the Dr. Martens shoe brand, and an alleged knock-off being sold by Cels Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Chinese Laundry (“Chinese Laundry”) under the “Dirtiy Laundry” mark and brand.  You may have read about other trademark disputes involving Louboutin shoes at DuetsBlog here and here.

Although I have a couple of Chinese Laundry brand dresses and a yellow pair of sandals, I do not have a pair of Dirty Laundry shoes in my closet.  They may not be my style (See pictures comparing brands below).

The Complaint alleges that Chinese Laundry has copied the Dr. Martens trade dress that features yellow stitching in the welt area of the sole and a two-tone grooved sole edge and a fabric heel tab.  The AirWair company holds many registrations for Trade Dress for the Dr. Martens shoes.  Specifically, the Complaint contains claims of trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, and California statutory claims.

How similar do you think the two boot brands are?   Are you aware of any other shoe wars?  I am sure it will not be the last.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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