December 3, 2020
As reported by Bloomberg Law, New Balance’s Vision Racer sneaker, made in collaboration with Jaden Smith, is now the subject of a trademark infringement lawsuit. Authentic Brands Group, LLC (ABG) claims that New Balance infringed its trademark and counterfeited its products.
In the complaint, ABG alleges that the sneaker features “designs and symbols that are substantially and confusingly similar” to the Vision trademarks that ABG holds.
The Vision trademarks were purchased by ABG along with the Vision Streetwear brand in 2014, at which point ABG had already acquired other prominent fashion brands including Nautica, Aéropostale, Brooks Brothers, and Forever 21. The marks protect “Vision” and “Vision Streetwear” branding used on both clothing and footwear.
ABG claims that the lettering on the Vision Racer shoe, and New Balance’s advertising for it, will confuse consumers as to whether the Vision Streetwear brand was involved in the design and manufacturing of the product. ABG further submits that these new shoes should be considered counterfeit versions of footwear previously released under Vision Streetwear brand, which bears its logo.
ABG is seeking $2 million (USD) in damages and injunctive relief relating to production of, and advertisements for, the New Balance Vision Racer sneaker.
Authors: Meg King and Sasha Seeber