SKECHERS USA, Inc. (NYSE:SKX), a global leader in lifestyle footwear,
announced today that it won a major victory in a trademark lawsuit filed
against Skechers by Asics Corporation and Asics America Corporation
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denied
Asics' motion for a preliminary injunction
against Skechers, expressly finding that there are ?substantial?
differences between Asics' trademark and
Skechers' stripe designs.
Asics sued the company for trademark infringement, unfair competition,
trademark dilution and false advertising, claiming that the stripe
design on four Skechers shoe styles infringes Asics'
stripe trademark. Asics sought a preliminary injunction against Skechers
to prevent Skechers from making and selling the four shoe styles. After
hearing oral argument, the court denied Asics'
motion. In a 21-page opinion dated April 25, 2007, the court found that
Asics had not shown that it is likely to succeed in its trademark
infringement case against Skechers. The District Court's
opinion states: ?the designs are quite
different and in the marketplace the shoes appear highly dissimilar.?
The court also found that the Asics trademark and Skechers stripes were
not similar enough to infer that Skechers copied its designs from Asics.
?We feel vindicated by the court's
opinion that there are ?substantial'
differences between the Skechers stripe designs and the Asics'
trademark,? stated Philip G. Paccione,
General Counsel of Skechers. ?As we have said
all along, the Asics suit is nothing more than an attempt to monopolize
the use of common design elements, undermine legitimate competition and
intimidate retailers. Skechers is hip, cutting edge and original in its
shoe designs, and does not attempt to trade on the brand image and
identity of any company other than Skechers.?
The District Court also declined to grant Asics injunctive relief on its
trade dress infringement claim, which was limited to one of the four
Skechers styles in issue, the Skechers Showdowns. The court found that
there was no evidence of actual confusion or that Skechers had
intentionally copied Asics' design.
Paccione continued, ?In light of this
resounding victory, Skechers has decided to focus its resources on
bringing this infringement case to a successful and prompt conclusion,
and will consider recourse for Asics'
anti-competitive and other wrongful conduct at a later date.?
Skechers was represented in the matter by Marshall Lerner, Brad Mattes
and Philip Nulud of Kleinberg & Lerner of Los Angeles, California.
SKECHERS USA, Inc., based in Manhattan Beach, California, designs,
develops and markets a diverse range of footwear for men, women and
children under the SKECHERS name, as well as 10 uniquely branded names.
SKECHERS footwear is available in the United States via department and
specialty stores, Company-owned SKECHERS retail stores and its
e-commerce website, as well as in over 100 countries and territories
through the Company's global network of
distributors and Canadian and European subsidiaries. Please visit www.skechers.com
or call the Company's information line at
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements that are
made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements
include, without limitation, any statement that may predict, forecast,
indicate or simply state future results, performance or achievements of
the Company, and can be identified by the use of forward looking
language such as ?believe,?
?will be,? ?will
or any variations of such words with similar meanings. Any such
statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the
Company's actual results to differ materially
from those projected in forward-looking statements. Factors that
might cause or contribute to such differences include international,
national and local general economic, political and market conditions;
intense competition among sellers of footwear for consumers; changes in
fashion trends and consumer demands; popularity of particular designs
and categories of products; the level of sales during the spring,
back-to-school and holiday selling seasons; the ability to anticipate,
identify, interpret or forecast changes in fashion trends, consumer
demand for our products and the various market factors described above;
the ability of the Company to maintain its brand image; the ability to
sustain, manage and forecast the Company's
growth and inventories; the ability to secure and protect trademarks,
patents and other intellectual property; the loss of any significant
customers, decreased demand by industry retailers and cancellation of
order commitments; potential disruptions in manufacturing related to
overseas sourcing and concentration of production in China, including,
without limitation, difficulties associated with political instability
in China, the occurrence of a natural disaster or outbreak of a pandemic
disease in China, or electrical shortages, labor shortages or work
stoppages that may lead to higher production costs and/or production
delays; changes in monetary controls and valuations of the Yuan by the
Chinese government; increased costs of freight and transportation to
meet delivery deadlines; violation of labor or other laws by our
independent contract manufacturers, suppliers or licensees; potential
imposition of additional duties, tariffs or other trade restrictions;
business disruptions resulting from natural disasters such as an
earthquake due to the location of the Company's
domestic warehouse, headquarters and a substantial number of retail
stores in California; changes in business strategy or development plans;
the ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; the disruption,
expense and potential liability associated with existing or
unanticipated future litigation; and other factors referenced or
incorporated by reference in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K
for the year ended December 31, 2006. The risks included here are not
exhaustive. We operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing
environment. New risks emerge from time to time and we cannot
predict all such risk factors, nor can we assess the impact of all such
risk factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or
combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially
from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Given
these risks and uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on
forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. Moreover,
reported results should not be considered an indication of the Company's