This time, the sportswear company is alleging Fashion Nova infringed on its Stan Smith sneaker trade dress. The complaint also argues the retailer’s actions constitute unfair competition and unfair and deceptive trade practices.
Adidas previously filed a complaint against Fashion Nova in May 2019, alleging it was “actively and intentionally” infringing on its three-stripe trademark in connection with “numerous” apparel items. That lawsuit is currently in the expert discovery phase.
The German sneaker company previously enjoined Skechers from selling a similar shoe. “Any reasonable observer [could] see the striking similarities between the Skechers Onix and the adidas Stan Smith,” the court ruled. Like Fashion Nova’s sneaker, the enjoined shoe featured rows of perforations, a defined stitching enclosing those perforations and a green heel patch. In Skechers’ case, though, the perforations were slanted in the opposite direction. In Adidas’ view, Fashion Nova’s sneaker “is even closer to the Stan Smith trade dress than the version Skechers sold six years ago.”
Adidas argues that Fashion Nova “knowingly, willfully, intentionally and maliciously adopted and used substantially indistinguishable and confusingly similar imitations” of its Stan Smith trade dress. These actions, it suggests, were intended to “mislead and deceive consumers into believing the footwear was manufactured, sold, authorized, or licensed by Adidas.”
The complaint seeks injunctive relief, as well as Fashion Nova’s profits, actual damages, enhanced profits and damages, costs and attorneys’ fees. It additionally claims that Fashion Nova’s “imitation” of its Stan Smith sneaker “has caused and is likely to cause” injury to Adidas and the public and that therefore the company is also entitled to punitive damages. It also asked Fashion Nova be ordered to deliver all related footwear and materials for impoundment and destruction.
In January, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revealed that Fashion Nova would be required to pay $4.2 million for misrepresenting shopper sentiments about its apparel and accessories. The settlement arrived less than a year after the FTC sent out more than $6.5 million in payments to Fashion Nova customers affected by unmet promises of fast shipping. Also last year, the e-tailer settled a year-old trademark dispute with Playboy over its bunny costumes.
These legal troubles do not appear to be hurting Fashion Nova’s bottom line, however. Earlier this month, The Los Angeles Times reported that founder and CEO Richard Saghian purchased an L.A. mega-mansion for $126 million—$141 million including the 12 percent auction fee. The 105,000-square-foot home is considered the largest modern home in the U.S., according to USA Today. It was originally listed for $500 million.