Highsnobiety

Hot girl summer? More like lawsuit summer, as far as the sneaker industry is concerned. While Vans combats MSCHF, Nike is engaging in a clash of the sneaker titans with adidas, it's also hashing things out – and copping fakes — with StockX.

New Balance and Steve Madden have entered the lawsuit chat as the Boston-based footwear brand sues the eponymous label over infringement claims.

Specifically, New Balance is taking Steve Madden to court for design patent and trademark infringement, claiming the New York-based footwear label copied its 327 shoes.

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New Balance asserts that Steve Madden's knockoffs "capitalize on and free-ride off of the success that New Balance had achieved with its 327 model," per its court complaint filed on June 7.

The Steve Madden shoe that's doing the infamous infringing? It's undoubtedly the "Chasen" sneaker, which resembles a copy-paste version of New Balance's 327 sneakers, save the higher quality and stylized "N" logo.

In the complaint, New Balance emphasizes the success of its sneaker model, which has apparently sold "several million pairs" since its 2020 release.

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Basically, Steve Madden's knockoffs just wanted a taste of the 327 fame, according to New Balance.

Also, in its court document, New Balance brings up the obvious: Steve Madden's ongoing pattern of copy-cat behavior, which has landed several court battles with brands like Converse, Balenciaga, and Saint Laurent, to name a few.

Judging by Steve Madden's current product selection — including faux Gucci rubber sandals, not-a-Prada crystal shoulder bag, and a clone of TikTok's favorite Versace platforms — it's safe to say they haven't learned their lesson yet either.

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Though, it did dodge the Nike bullet with its "Malone" sneakers, which looks like BAPE STAs had a baby with Travis Scott's "Cactus Jack" and Virgil Abloh's Off-White™ Air Jordan 1 sneakers.

But New Balance ain't having it with Steve Madden's Chasen sneaker. No, it won't get away this time by blatantly ripping off the New Balance 327s.

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Buckle up, y'all. It's going to be long summer in sneaker court.

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