Let's just say that people walking into a large shoe store in Los Angeles or elsewhere generally have a lot of options when it comes to selecting athletic footwear.
In fact, it likely seems a bit overwhelming to some consumers, who confront myriad styles and designs from manufacturers whose shoes also feature distinct logos and other identifying features.
To state that those identifying logos and related marks are jealously guarded by shoe makers is an understatement. In fact, competitors' products are subjected to withering examination, and efforts perceived as copying attempts are responded to through quick recourse to legal threats and, often, litigation.
Take Nike, for example. That iconic swoosh logo certainly ranks in the uppermost tier of recognizable marks globally, and the company is quick on the trigger when it comes to addressing the alleged infringement efforts of business rivals.
A media article discusses recent Nike lawsuits contending that competitors have infringed the company's trademarks and patents in many instances. That report notes that Nike filed 22 separate federal lawsuits in late 2014 against companies ranging from Wal-Mart to Manhattan Beach-based Skechers.
That litigation focused upon a claim that those entities were infringing a well-known shoe trademark owned by Nike. More recently filed litigation (in fact, in a lawsuit commenced just last week in a federal court in Oregon), Nike sued Skechers again, claiming that several brands of that California company's shoes infringe multiple design patents owned by Nike.
Nike seeks what are currently unspecified damages from Skechers, along with a court order demanding that Skechers cease making shoes that infringe Nike's protected intellectual property.