The lawsuits of Burberry, Gucci and Skechers against Steve Madden

The lawsuits of Burberry, Gucci and Skechers against Steve Madden

Burberry and Gucci won their legal battles. While the letter “S” continues to generate controversy between  Skechers and Steve Madden. The distinctive sign of a brand cannot be used in any product. Even those not sold by the luxury brand itself. That’s the decision of the court that sided with Gucci (for the green-red-green combination) and Burberry (for its classic square-shaped design called check). Meanwhile, a war over the use of the letter “S” is going on in the USA between Skechers and Steve Madden. The former filed a lawsuit against the latter for the logo of the sneakers.

They won

From a ribbon used bonbonnieres, lawsuits were filed by Gucci and Burberry. Such ribbon imitated the “Burberry Check” and the “green-red-green stripe combination” scheme by Gucci. In the first degree, the court of Massa had proven the two brands wrong. Yet, in the court of appeals in Genova, they decision was flipped. With sentence 21640/2023, the highest court confirm the decision of the Appeal Court. This sentence effectively protects the “distinctive sign”, when counterfeiting risks of provoking misleading outcomes between consumers and thus harm the public. The legal conclusion, says Il Sole 24 Ore, supports the idea that famous brands need to be protected by the hypothetical counterfeit that is enacted on products not directly sold by other brands.

The war for the “S”

In the USA a battle broke out regarding the use of the letter “S”. Skechers filed a lawsuit against Steve Madden at the Los Angeles court. The sneakers’ line “Kennie” (in photo on the left) allegedly violates the brand’s rights. In details, writes Reuters, Steve Madde is using an “S” that is similar in proportions to the “S” on Skechers’ shoes. The letter is also positioned in the same spot. And this, says Skechers, could bring consumers to erroneously think Skechers has started making the item or gave authorization to somebody to make it. In 2015 too Skechers filed against Steve Madden for allegedly having violated design patents. The companies had brokered a deal the following year in that instance.

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