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Adidas goes after counterfeit footwear

Adidas goes after counterfeit footwear

It appears rapper Kanye West is at least indirectly involved, for a change, in a dispute that is not of his own making.

Adidas and its affiliates have filed suit in U.S. District Court in Miami charging copyright violation against 196 online vendors that are selling counterfeit Adidas, including Kanye West-designed shoes made by the company that are sold under his Yeezy nickname.

Plaintiffs in the litigation filed last week in U.S. District Court in Miami are Adidas AG, which is based on Herzogenaurach, Germany, its Reebok unit and other affiliates.

They charge in Adidas AG et al. v. that the defendants are selling poor-quality, cheaper knockoffs of their designer shoes, whose retail price can be up to $1,700 a pair, but more often sell for hundreds of dollars.

The lawsuit does not name Mr. West, who has recently raised controversy through his political statements.

It states the websites are promoting and selling these goods in “blatant disregard of Plaintiffs’ rights,” and that they are “of a quality substantially different” than the plaintiffs’ genuine goods. The lawsuit says this is likely to cause “confusion, deception, and mistake in the minds of consumers.”

Funds sought in the litigation include statutory damages of $2 million from each defendant for each counterfeit trademark.

The lawsuit was reported in an article Monday in the Daily Business Review.



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