New Balance Initiates Legal Battle Against Golden Goose Over ‘Dad Shoes’

Boston-based giant New Balance has initiated legal action against luxury Italian label Golden Goose.

New Balance Initiates Legal Battle Against Golden Goose Over 'Dad Shoes'

Boston-based giant New Balance has initiated legal action against luxury Italian label Golden Goose. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, alleges that Golden Goose has infringed on the trade dress of New Balance‘s iconic ‘dad shoes’, specifically the flagship Model 990 line.

‘Dad shoes’ are a term used to describe practical, comfortable sneakers that were popularized by middle-aged men or fathers. These shoes are often characterized by their oversized, chunky soles that provide maximum comfort and underfoot support. In recent years, they have become a unisex fashion trend, with women choosing them for their ease of mobility and support over high heels.

New Balance claims that Golden Goose‘s ‘Dad-Star’ shoe is a deliberate attempt to create an association between its products and New Balance in the minds of consumers. The suit highlights the similarities between all of its 990 sneakers, ranging from the v1 to the v6, as compared to the Golden Goose Dad-Star. The grey shades used on the 990 sneakers, which are synonymous with New Balance, are also allegedly mirrored in the Golden Goose model, causing further confusion among consumers.

The complaint further alleges that Golden Goose may have intentionally named its sneaker the “Dad-Star,” as New Balance’s 990 is well-known to consumers as the original “dad shoe.” This could potentially lead fans to confuse the name of Golden Goose’s model with the silhouettes from the 990 line.

New Balance is seeking injunctive relief, including an order recalling all of Golden Goose’s footwear products bearing the 990 trade dress, and monetary damages. The company is also asking the court to halt Golden Goose from advertising and selling the Dad-Star sneaker or releasing products in the future that infringe on its 990 trade dress.

This case is another example of the blurring lines between fashion and athletic wear, as companies expand beyond their traditional offerings to cater to existing consumers and reach new ones.

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