California Board Sports, Inc. vs. Vans, Inc.

Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment


California Board Sports (CBS) and Vans are competitors in the field of casual shoes, accessories and apparel. Vans is the owner of a trademark registration for a slip-on shoe with a black and white checkerboard pattern over the entire front, tongue and heel of the shoe (Vans’ “Classic Slip-On”). CBS filed a complaint for declaratory relief arguing that the checkerboard pattern was generic and that its use of the pattern was a fair use. The District Court denied plaintiff ’s motion for summary judgment, finding that the checkerboard pattern was not generic. Unlike the grape leaves in Kendall-Jackson Winery v. E&J Gallo, 150 F.3d 1042, 1047 (9th Cir. 1998) which answered the question “What are you?” when placed on a bottle containing wine, CBS failed to establish that their checkerboard pattern served the same “What are you?” function in connection with shoes.

This is the court order denying plaintiff's motion for summary judgment.

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Reference Info:Decision | Federal, 9th Circuit, California | United States

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