Converse to sue big-name imitators of its legendary Chuck Taylor shoe


NEW YORK–Worn by millions all over the world, the Converse sneaker is a slice of Americana beloved by everyone from British public school boys to rap stars, from aged rockers to athletes. But popularity has a dark side.

Converse Inc. is complaining that more than two dozen companies are knocking off, mass-producing and selling imitations of its legendary Chuck Taylor shoe. And it’s had enough.

On Tuesday, the Nike subsidiary filed lawsuits against 31 companies for breach of trademark. Among the defendants are Wal-Mart, Ralph Lauren Corporation and Tory Burch. Of the 31 companies, four are based in China, two in Canada, one in Australia, one in Italy and one in Japan. Converse is also demanding that the International Trade Commission ban imports, distribution, sale and use of imitation Converse footwear in the United States. In one of the suits, Converse demands a trial by jury at the federal court in Brooklyn against Kmart Corporation.