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Rothy’s Gets Victory in Lawsuit Against Austrian Shoemaker Over Pointed-Toe Flats

Rothy’s Inc. has secured another legal victory for its intellectual property portfolio.

Late last week, the High Court of Justice’s Business and Property Courts of England and Wales handed down judgment in favor of the San Francisco-based brand, which had filed a lawsuit against Austrian shoemaker Giesswein Walkwaren AG over the registered design of its pointed-toe loafer-style flats.

According to Deputy High Court Judge David Stone, Giesswein’s “Pointy Flat” shoe infringed on Rothy’s “Pointed Loafer.” As part of the order, Giesswein must no longer “make, offer, put on the market, import, export, use or stock for such purposes” the infringing shoe. If the company does not comply, it could be fined, held in contempt of court or have its assets seized.

“We care deeply about protecting the intellectual property that Rothy’s works so hard to create and are thrilled that the court affirmed the validity of Rothy’s registered design and found Giesswein to be infringing,” said Rothy’s SVP, general counsel and corporate secretary Marie Satterfield. “With over 200 patents and trademarks granted or pending, we will continue to vigorously enforce Rothy’s rights and hold accountable those who infringe our designs.”

FN reached out to Giesswein for comment.

Giesswein's "Pointy Flat," as exhibited in Rothy's Inc. v. Giesswein Walkwaren AG.
Giesswein’s “Pointy Flat,” as exhibited in Rothy’s Inc. v. Giesswein Walkwaren AG.

Rothy’s has been embroiled in IP battles with OESH Shoes and Steve Madden. Last September, the brand settled with OESH — an eco-friendly women’s comfort shoe brand founded by Dr. Casey Kerrigan — against which it had filed a patent and trade dress infringement lawsuit in Virginia district court. It alleged that the Charlottesville, Va.-headquartered company’s round-toe ballet flats dubbed “The Dream Flat” were too similar to its “The Flat.”

More recently, in May, there was a development in Rothy’s dispute with Steve Madden. A judge in a Delaware district court denied Steve Madden’s motion to dismiss two of nine counts brought forth by Rothy’s — namely trademark dilution and patent infringement. In the original filing, the direct-to-consumer startup claimed that the New York-based brand’s “Rosy” flats were a “slavish copy” of its “The Point.” The litigation is still pending in court.

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