New Balance sneakers (top), Karl Lagerfeld sneakers (bottom)

New Balance Sues Karl Lagerfeld

Designer sneakers are enjoying a moment in the sun — and, in one case, in a courtroom.

New Balance is suing Karl Lagerfeld, the Karl Lagerfeld, for trademark infringement, claiming his black leather-suede mesh sneakers ($360 at Net-a-Porter) are close enough to their retro 574 model ($114.832 at ASOS) to cause significant consumer confusion. Even the capital K on the side appears to reference the footwear giant's classic NB logo.

A blog called Shefinds.com was the first to spot the similarities, before TMZ got its hands on the lawsuit and spilled the details. All of which makes it sound quite scandalous, but in fact these kinds of lawsuits happen all the time — they just don't usually have a very famous name attached. For every Christian Louboutin taking YSL to court over a red sole, there are countless lower-profile accusations of trademark infringement making their way through the system. It's the cost of doing business — and of being influenced.





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Jun 04, 2014 20:00:00

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