In-N-Out is serving up a lot more than burgers and fries lately. According to LAist, the Southern California-based burger chain has filed a lawsuit accusing Puma of infringing on their logo.
Drive Thru sneaker uses red palm trees
In-N-Out claims a newly released pair of sneakers infringes on its trademark. The Puma sneakers are called the Cali-O Drive Thru. The shoes are all white leather with a double red line around the base, red lining and a yellow puma on the heel and tongue of the shoe. Some of the sneakers also feature red palm trees on the laces. Other shoes feature white laces with one strip of red palm trees.
It is likely the palm trees pushing In-N-Out over the edge. The In-N-Out logo features red palm trees which are used throughout the stores and on much of its packaging.
Instagram promotional videos feature burgers
The description of the Cali-O Drive Thru sneaker mentions that an essential of the California lifestyle is eating at “burger diners.” Puma also released several videos to promote the sneakers on Instagram. The videos are all burger-themed.
The burger chain accuses the shoemaker of trying to intentionally confuse consumers by using In-N-Out’s marks and colors. The company is also suing Mike Cherman, who is a streetwear designer that collaborated on the design of the sneakers.
A company can defend a registered trademark
According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a trademark is a symbol, sign, phrase, word or design that sets one company’s goods apart from another. A company can register a trademark with the USPTO. Once a trademark is registered, you can pursue lawsuits against anyone who infringes on your trademark.
In a trademark infringement case, you must prove you own the trademark, your claim is senior to the other company’s right and the use of the trademark would likely confuse consumers. If the accused party is found guilty, the company may have to stop using the mark, may have to destroy the goods and may owe your company damages.