New Balance might have to open up its wallet if this lawsuit pans out.
The Boston-based sportswear brand is being sued for $2 million by Authentic Brands Group, LLC, the parent company of Vision Street Wear, the cult streetwear brand. ABG is coming for New Balance, and it’s recent “Vision Racer” collaboration with the “icon living” Jaden Smith for copyright infringement and counterfeiting. ABG purchased the Vision Street Wear brand in 2014.
The vegan-friendly sneaker was Smith’s first and sold very well, but this suit could be a huge stain on the collaboration. ABG’s claims in the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that New Balance knowingly misleading its customers.
ABG alleges in its complaint that New Balance pushed and sold kicks that “bear designs and symbols that are substantially and confusingly similar to” its Vision trademarks. The company further added that it “never licensed or authorized [New Balance] to use the VISION trademarks in any manner,” and that New Balance has “manufactured, advertised, marketed, distributed, offered for sale, and sold … footwear products bearing identical and confusingly similar imitations of the VISION trademarks.”
Interestingly enough, ABG has yet to slap bootleg presidential nominee Kanye West with a lawsuit for his “Kanye 2020 Vision” presidential merch, which also bears a close resemblance to the Vision Street Wear logo.
Photo: SOPA Images / Getty