April 7, 2016
Woman-Owned Start Up Sues Skechers over Illegal use of Slogan
SAN DIEGO,CA - Fish & Richardson today filed a lawsuit against Skechers U.S.A., Inc. and Skechers U.S.A., Inc. II on behalf of client TerriKelly, LLC over the use of the slogan "Yoga Pants for Your Feet." The lawsuit alleges trademark infringement and unfair competition by Skechers, an international shoe company. TerriKelly, LLC, owned and singlehandedly run by entrepreneur Terri Kelly, sells flip flops and owns the federal trademark registration to the slogan "Yoga Pants for Your Feet," which she began using about a year before Skechers began using the same slogan.
Kelly came up with the slogan as the perfect way to convey to consumers the comfort and minimalist design of her flip flops and began using the slogan in January 2014. Kelly, who is based in Palm Desert, California, uses the slogan on her company's website, through social media and in other forms of advertising and marketing.
Skechers began using the slogan as early as January 2015 to market its Stretch-Fit Glider shoe. Kelly only recently learned of a commercial being shown on television and online promoting the shoe. Skechers' commercial features celebrity and Dancing with the Stars Season 7 winner Brooke Burke-Charvet and prominently uses TerriKelly's "Yoga Pants for Your Feet" mark to promote its new shoe in the commercial. In addition to the television and YouTube ad, Skechers also uses the slogan online and in social media posts.
Legal counsel for TerriKelly issued a cease and desist letter to Skechers in March 2015 but the company continues to use the slogan.
Skechers' footwear is marketed and sold in over 600 stores worldwide. Skechers owns and operates over 300 retail stores in the United States alone. Skechers U.S.A., Inc. is a publicly-traded footwear company with over $2 billion in net sales for 2014.
TerriKelly flip flops are sold at trade shows and festivals as well as through the company's website and through specialty boutiques and online retailers.
"I founded my company in March of 2013 and have worked hard since day one to develop brand recognition and a loyal client base," states Kelly, the mother of six children. "I feel like David fighting Goliath, and it is disheartening to see a big company like Skechers behave in such an unfair and uncompromising manner."
The suit was filed in United States District Court Southern District of California and requests that Skechers stop using the slogan and pay unspecified damages to Kelly.
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