Goyard Says The Shoe Surgeon Infringed on Designs in New Lawsuit

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French fashion label Goyard is coming after sneaker customizer The Shoe Surgeon in a new lawsuit.

In a suit filed in the Central District of California last week, the French brand claimed that The Shoe Surgeon used designs that were identical, indistinguishable from, or confusingly similar to Goyard’s protected designs without the brand’s consent. The designs in question were featured on lighters and shoes sold by The Shoe Surgeon.

“The canvas material used by defendants which contain the Goyard Marks are not intended or authorized for use by defendants and are not intended or authorized for use as the featured element of footwear or lighters created by defendants who have no relationship with Goyard,” read the suit. The complaint also pointed out that the product descriptions for these items say they include “authentic” Goyard canvas but, as Goyard suggests, it is unclear if the material in question is fake or not.

The Los-Angeles, Calif.-based Shoe Surgeon is a custom shoe-making business known for its products that blend various brand elements into one design. For example, the company might take a well-known Nike or Birkenstock silhouette and combine it with materials and identifying marks from brands like Louis Vuitton, Lanvin and Gucci.

Goyard, however, says it did not consent to its inclusion on the footwear and accessories products in question, which the suit alleges have also appeared for sale in retailers like Harrod’s and Urban Necessities.

According to the complaint, Goyard sent two cease and desist letters to Shoe Surgeon founder Dominic Chambrone in 2022 but received no response. The products were removed for a bit until they came back on the marketplace about a year later, the suit said.

FN has reached out to The Shoe Surgeon and Goyard for comments.

While still in early stages, the lawsuit could have interesting implications for the sneaker customization world and what constitutes trademark infringement versus art. Other brands like Nike have previously sued several sneaker customizers for trademark infringement and selling counterfeit shoes. In 2021, Nike filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against MSCHF, the company that created and sold a number of “Satan Shoes” in collaboration with Lil Nas X in March. The sneakers were based off the Nike Air Max 97 and ultimately recalled by MSCHF after a settlement agreement was reached that same year.

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