Skechers USA Inc. is going after small comfort brand Bernie Mev to protect its Skech-Air line.
According to a filing made in the California Central District Court, Skechers filed the complaint against Mev’s distributor company, Eliya Inc., for allegedly marketing and selling the Bernie Mev Gummies line, which Skechers says copied its patented soles.
Skechers said that it saw the infringing soles last fall and it approached Elyia to stop the sales. Skechers said that in a settlement “Eliya represented and warranted that it has not sold or otherwise imported into the U.S. any products that use the designs claimed in the Skechers patents. Eliya also promised not to sell or otherwise import into the U.S. shoes that use the designs claimed in the Skechers patents.”
The Skech-Air line’s sole of semi-opaque, pillow-like cells were patented in 2012. The firm argues that the Bernie Mev Gummies Gem, Charm and Victoria styles infringe on the Skechers patent.
Skechers is seeking part of Eliya’s profits from the sales, and also has requested damages and attorneys fees.
“Considering our investment in the Skech-Air by Skechers product lines … we will not allow anyone to infringe on our valuable intellectual properties. We plan on taking similar action against any company that develops any products that infringe on the patents and trade dress of the Skech-Air by Skechers product line or any of our other popular product lines, and any retailer that sells the Bernie Mev Gummies style,” said Skechers CFO David Weinberg in a release.
Footwear News has reached out to Bernie Mev for comment.
It’s an interesting turn of events. Comfort brand Bernie Mev, which rose in notoriety for its unique elastic-band woven uppers, has itself inspired many brands in the past.