Italian fashion brand Golden Goose has taken steps to defend itself against a claim of trade dress infringement issued by New Balance.
Golden Goose is well-known for its high-end handcrafted trainers, of which includes its “Dad-Star” trainer. Footwear rival New Balance has claimed that the design of the “Dad-Star” product as a whole mirrors the trade dress in its own 990 trainer. In the United States, where this claim has been issued, trade dress is the whole look of a finished product, including the product design, materials and packaging, so that a product or service can be identified and/or distinguished from the source.
New Balance contends that Golden Goose has copied the design of the 990 trainer in order to “foster a perceived association between its products and New Balance in the minds of consumers”, and further allege that its use of the colour grey increases the likelihood of confusion between the trainers as New Balance and the 990 trainer in particular are “famously associated with the colour grey”.
However, Golden Goose has filed a motion to dismiss the claims in their entirety on the basis that it claims New Balance has failed to specifically identify the features of its trade dress claims, its design features which are recognised by consumers, and that those features which are considered non-functional. Those features are key elements to support New Balance’s claim of trade dress infringement.
It is to be seen in whose favour the court will rule.
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