Primark threatened with lawsuit over ‘fake’ Veja trainers

Retail giant Primark is facing a lawsuit from French footwear company Veja, which has accused it of selling a copycat version of its signature trainer range.

Veja sells its trainers for $100-plus per pair, a price tag that reflects its use of organic cotton, recycled plastics, and production in factories that provide decent pay and working conditions, while Primark’s version is retailing for around $10.

Those credentials have made the brand popular with celebrities, including actresses Emma Watson, Reese Witherspoon and Chloe Moretz and the Duchess of Sussex, amongst many others.

Veja chief executive said in an Instagram post: “I think Primark got it wrong, they should not copy the style of our shoes, they should copy the way we do them…We will explain everything to them in court.”

Whether Veja can prove Primark’s shoes are sufficiently similar to be considered ‘counterfeit’ will have to be determined in the courts, but there’s no question that Primark’s shoes have some similar characteristics. The retailer is not claiming that they are made by Veja of course, so the case will focus on intellectual property surrounding the visual appearance and trade dress of Veja’s shoes.

This isn’t the first time that a footwear brand has taken Primark to task over copycat trainers. Last year, Vans sued the company over what it claimed were counterfeit of its Old Skool sneakers.

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