Shoe companies Rothy’s and Steve Madden are at each other’s throats

TechCrunch | 10/16/2019 | Staff
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In August, after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the venture-backed shoe startup Rothy’s, shoe giant Steven Madden filed a pre-emptive lawsuit asking a federal court to rule that its Rosy Flat shoes don’t copy design elements of the Point ballet flat that Rothy’s began selling soon after its 2016 launch.

More, it asked that seven related patents that Rothy’s has been issued — and that Rothy’s accused Madden of infringing — be declared invalid.

Rothy - Today - Counterclaims - Design - Patent

Now, Rothy’s is batting back again, today filing counterclaims of design patent and trade dress infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition while also managing to get in a sick burn, writing in its filing that instead of “pursuing independent product development, Madden has chosen to slavishly copy Rothy’s product design in violation of Rothy’s valuable intellectual property rights.”

Steve Madden — now a 29-year-old company that’s publicly traded, valued by investors at $3 billion, and largely still run by Steve Madden himself (he’s its creative and design chief) — is known for finding inspiration in the work of other brands that wish it would not. Among a handful of companies to tangle legally with the shoe titan in recent years is venture-backed Allbirds, which accused Steve Madden of copying its wool trainer in 2017.

AllBirds - Lawsuit - Company - Alas

AllBirds soon settled its lawsuit with the company. Alas,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TechCrunch
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