Vans accuses Primark of copying its shoe designs

Footwear brand Vans has filed a lawsuit against cut-price retailer Primark accusing it of copying two of its sneaker designs.

Vans says it asked Primark to stop selling the shoes in the UK last year, but alleges that Primark has continued to do so in the US and so has filed for trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising in a New York court, reports

The two sneakers in question include the Vans Old Skool sneaker and the Vans Sk8-Hi sneaker, two of Vans’ most popular products, and the company says Primark’s copies contravene its trademark side stripe design. The complaint maintains that customers have even begun to refer to Primark’s sneakers as “fake Vans” on social media.

Vans has been struggling with counterfeit copies of its shoes for many years, and just last month fakes of its footwear featured prominently in a massive seizure of more than 500,000 counterfeit sneakers in China, a haul which was valued at $87.5m, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Primark has also been on the receiving end of counterfeiting in the past, hitting the headlines a few years ago when a copycat store was opened in Dubai that had no connection to the group, which is owned by Associated British Foods.

Last year, counterfeit copies of the retailer’s Beauty and the Beast mugs and purses – featuring the character Chip and sold under license from Disney – were widely counterfeited after the company failed to keep up with demand in its UK stores.

Photo by John Fornander on Unsplash

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