In-N-Out Burger has slapped Puma North America Inc. with a trademark lawsuit, alleging that the sportswear giant used its federally registered designs without permission.
Filed on March 1, the popular fast-food restaurant’s suit called out two pairs of sneakers released in February — the Cali-O Drive Thru and California Drive Thru shoes.
It claimed that the former featured palm tree motifs that were “essentially identical” to the ones seen on In-N-Out storefronts, takeout bags and employee uniforms. The latter, it said, used designs that were “confusingly similar” to its own, featuring an illustration of a burger on the shoes’ insoles.
Designed in collaboration with Chinatown Market founder Mike Cherman, Puma’s West Coast-inspired shoes reinterpreted its classic California silhouette from the ’80s. The sneakers were executed in a clean white leather upper paired with contrasting red and yellow accents on the sock lining — elements that initially drew comparisons to the state’s burger chain.
“Puma’s and Cherman’s unauthorized and intentional use of In-N-Out’s trademarks and trade dress has already caused confusion in the marketplace, misled the consuming public and injured In-N-Out by causing consumers to incorrectly believe Puma’s products are associated with or authorized by In-N-Out,” the suit read. “Puma’s and Cherman’s acts have created a widespread public impression that In-N-Out’s trademarks and trade dress are available for use, thus opening the door for other acts of infringement and severely setting back In-N-Out’s efforts to protect its brand and goodwill.”
In-N-Out has demanded that Puma cease production of its Drive Thru shoes as well as other related marketing and advertising efforts. In addition to seeking unspecified damages, it has requested the company for profits connected to the sales of the shoes.
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