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Goyard Sues The Shoe Surgeon Over Trademark Infringement

Goyard Sues The Shoe Surgeon

French luxury fashion house Goyard has initiated a trademark lawsuit against custom sneaker and apparel creator Dominic Ciambrone, known as The Shoe Surgeon, famous for his custom sneakers that riff off products from Nike, Jordan, and more. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that the defendants have infringed upon Goyard’s trademarks by selling products featuring Goyard’s signature canvas without authorization. News of this lawsuit was first reported on by Sneaker Legal.

Goyard’s complaint asserts that the defendants’ entire business model revolves around customizing popular athletic shoes from brands like Nike, Birkenstock, and New Balance, integrating them with luxury materials and trademarks from high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, and Gucci. While some of these collaborations are legitimate and properly authorized, Goyard contends that their materials were used without consent in this instance.

Goyard's complaints in the lawsuit
Goyard's complaints in the lawsuit

The crux of Goyard’s argument is that The Shoe Surgeon’s use of Goyard’s canvas, which bears various trademarks, was neither approved nor verified by Goyard. The luxury brand claims that it did not supply the canvas to the defendants and that the canvas was never intended for their use. This unauthorized use, Goyard argues, misleads consumers into believing there is an official collaboration between the two parties when, in fact, there is none.

The complaint further states that the defendants’ products featuring Goyard’s trademarks are likely to confuse consumers about the origin and authenticity of the goods. This confusion is exacerbated by The Shoe Surgeon’s legitimate partnerships with other renowned brands, which might lead consumers to assume that the Goyard-branded items are also officially sanctioned.

According to the lawsuit, despite receiving cease-and-desist letters from Goyard, the defendants allegedly continued to market and sell the disputed products without making any changes to their listings or providing disclaimers about the lack of affiliation with Goyard. The French brand argues that this intentional omission of disclaimers is a deliberate attempt to benefit from Goyard’s reputation and goodwill.

Goyard’s lawsuit includes claims of trademark infringement, false designation of origin, and unfair competition. The brand wants The Shoe Surgeon to stop selling products he has with Goyard material and send Goyard the sneakers and products he still has for destruction. On top of this, they want him to disclose his suppliers/manufacturers, give them the profits from the Goyard-covered products, 3x the profits for willful infringement, and statutory damages up to 2 million per trademark infringed.

As the case unfolds, it will be closely watched by those in the fashion and sneaker industries, as well as by legal experts specializing in intellectual property. The resolution could set a precedent for the custom sneaker world, and on how products can be labeled authentic even if they do not come directly from the brand or trademark holder. Download the Sole Retriever mobile app to stay updated on the latest releases, raffles, news, and more in the sneaker and streetwear world.

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