Skechers claims wins in Adidas patent fight

Footwear brand Skechers USA said that in two separate rulings the US District Court for the District of Oregon denied an Adidas’ motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to prevent Skechers from selling its Mega-Blade series of children’s shoes — and dismissed Adidas’ claim against Skechers for willful infringement of two patents allegedly covering Adidas’ Springblade shoes.

Adidas did not immediately respond, Reuters reported.

Skechers said: “In denying Adidas’ motion for a preliminary injunction, the court found that Adidas was unable to show that it is likely to win the case at trial, referring to a ruling in a related proceeding before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) where Skechers produced evidence that Adidas’ patents were invalid and convinced the PTAB to institute an inter partes review of the patents.

“The court stated that Adidas ‘cannot, at this time, show a likelihood of success on the merits’ because ‘81% of [PTAB review proceedings] result in invalidation of at least some of the challenged claims, and 65% invalidated all of the challenged claims’.”

Skechers said that in a separate ruling, the court dismissed Adidas’ claim for willful and intentional infringement against Skechers, stating that Adidas failed to plead any “facts from which the court may draw the reasonable inference that [Skechers] knew of the patents-in-suit either when they issued or any time before [Adidas] filed this lawsuit. Thus, [Adidas’] allegations are insufficient to state a claim for willful infringement based on [Skechers’ conduct] before the lawsuit was filed.”

Skechers president Michael Greenberg said: “The court’s ruling inherently recognizes the weak and speculative nature of Adidas’ allegations against Skechers.

“As owners of a vast worldwide portfolio of trademarks, patents and copyrights, Skechers respects the intellectual property rights of other companies and has invested tremendous resources into building a brand identity by developing its own distinctive designs, not by copying others.

“We are pleased with both of the court’s rulings.”

Skechers is represented in the matter by Daniel Petrocelli, Mark Samuels, Jeffrey Barker and Brian Berliner of O’Melveny & Myers LLP.