Authentic Brands Group, LLC (ABG)– the parent company of cult skate brand Vision Street Wear– is suing New Balance for trademark infringement and counterfeiting relating to Jaden Smith's New Balance Vision Racer.
Smith's first-ever sneaker enjoyed huge success when it debuted this year. But the high profile, vegan-friendly collaboration has come under scrutiny after ABG filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York claiming the Boston-based sportswear company knowingly mislead consumers.
According to the complaint, New Balance marketed and sold sneakers that “bear designs and symbols that are substantially and confusingly similar to" AGB's Vision trademarks—including its Vision and Vision Street Wear branding.
The Vision Street Wear brand was acquired by AGB in 2014. As the parent company, AGB is seeking up to $2 million from New Balance for engaging in trademark infringement and counterfeiting.
The New York brand management company claims that while it “never licensed or authorized [New Balance] to use the VISION trademarks in any manner,” the footwear company has “manufactured, advertised, marketed, distributed, offered for sale, and sold … footwear products bearing identical and confusingly similar imitations of the VISION trademarks.”
Meanwhile, ABG has yet to take action in the form of trademark litigation against Kanye West and his recent Presidential merch. His "Kanye 2020 Vision” slogan, which is a close play on the Vision Street Wear logo. West's merch bore clear similarities with the Vision Street Wear branding.