Skechers sues Sears over Shape-ups

IndustrialsReuters

(Reuters) - Skechers USA Inc sued Sears Holdings Corp , accusing the housewares and apparel retailer of selling footwear that infringed on some of its patents and trademarks, including those for its Shape-up line.

Shape-up toning shoes are a major source of revenue for Skechers, which dominates the U.S. toning shoe market.

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Sears is selling the products at Sears and KMart retail stores and websites such as TheraShoe and Melrose Avenue, Skechers said in a statement.

Sears also infringed on its patents for Twinkle Toes and Z-Strap product lines, it added.

"While we value our relationship with Sears, their actions are causing us tremendous damage, and we simply cannot let any company, let alone a company the size of Sears, infringe on our most valuable intellectual property," Philip Paccione, General Counsel of Skechers, said.

The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, seeks damages as well as relief for the alleged infringements and unfair competition.

Skechers, which had profited from the popularity of toning shoes last year, missed quarterly earnings expectations as the shoemaker grapples with an inventory pileup from slowing sales of these shoes.

Skechers shares were trading up 2 percent at $20.14 in afternoon trade on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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