Vans and its parent company are suing British retailer Primark for allegedly copying the designs of two of its iconic skateboard trainers. The lawsuit, filed in a New York federal court earlier this month, cites trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising.
The clothing brand claim Primark has been selling “intentional copies” of the trainers since 2017 despite asking them to stop last January. However, Primark still continued selling the products in the US.
The filing includes the” Vans Old Skool” and the “Vans Sk8-Hi”, which feature the brand’s trademark white stripe and hexagonal-patterned bottom. Primark is selling its version for just £8 and £12, respectively – a quarter of the costs which Vans sell for.
“The Side Stripe Trademark’s prominent placement and often-contrasted color make Vans’ shoes immediately recognizable to consumers even at far-off distances,” the court documents state.
It says Primark used the names, “’Skater low tops’ and ‘Skater high tops’ in a blatant attempt to suggest a connection with Vans’ products that bear the Vans trademarks and trade dress, one they have been using since the 70s.
Primark disagrees with the allegations and plans to defend its position.