Vans is taking Primark to court for allegedly copying the designs of two of their iconic trainers.
The footwear brand says Primark has been selling ‘intentional copies’ of the trainers in the UK since 2017.
After asking the budget retailers to stop, they thought the matter was dealt with in January, but Vans then discovered that Primark was still selling the shoes in America.
The lawsuit that has been filed alleges trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising.
The first product in contention is Vans’ Old Skool trainers, which cost £55. Primark is selling a pair that are eerily similar, with a similar white side stripe and piping along the edges, for just £8.
Primark is also accused of stealing the Sk8-Hi shoe design, which is a high-top trainer with the classic stripe, piping and waffle-patterned sole, and retails at £65. The similar Primark design costs £12.
The law suit states that customers have started calling Primark’s trainers as ‘fake Vans’ on Twitter and Instagram.
In court documents, Vans said, ‘the Side Stripe Trademark’s prominent placement and often-contrasted colour make Vans’ shoes immediately recognisable to consumers even at far-off distances.’
They went on to call the Primark shoes ‘calculated and intentional knock-offs of Vans’ footwear products’ that were ‘designed to confuse the purchasing public.’
They even said Primark’s choice of name for their products were evidence of stealing. They said 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, including the Vans’ Old Skool Shoe and Sk8-Hi Shoe.”
Primark told the WWD that the company disagrees with the allegations brought by Vans and plans to ‘defend’ its position.
We have contacted Primark for comment and will update the article accordingly.