New Balance has filed a trademark lawsuit against Michael Kors for infringing its ‘N’ mark. The company stated in its filing that while the designs might differ slightly, an N appears on nearly every New Balance shoe sold for over forty years.” It also noted that the N was used to identify New Balance’s products. New Balance has sold more than 1,000,000 products in the U.S.
New Balance alleges the shoes sold by Michael Kors confuse customers and degrade its trademark, despite a visible Michael Kors label. New Balance stated that “consumer confusion” is almost certain because the Michael Kors N design appears within a nearly identical commercial context.
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar Michael Kors said he owned at least 15 pairs of black New Balance sneakers, a citing New Balance made in its suit. The company has asked the courts to stop all sales and use of its ‘N” designs, as well as recall existing footwear and award damages from Michael Cors profits on shoes sold.