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Tyga’s Parody Vans Sneaker Design Likely Violated Trademark, Federal Appeals Court Rules

IPR Daily

2023-12-07 18:20:25

Tyga’s attempt to offer a twisted take of Vans’ classic Old Skool sneakers likely violated the shoemaker’s trademarks, a federal appeals court ruled on Dec. 5.

The offending sneakers, known as Wavy Baby, hit the street last year courtesy of a New York art collective known as MSCHF. Those familiar with the Vans Old Skool style noted that it was clearly influenced by that sneaker that was first popularized by skateboarders.

The makers of the new shoe claimed it was a legal parody protected by the First Amendment, but Vans didn’t buy it. The company filed suit on April 15, three days before the release of the “parody” shoes, claiming it was a “blatant trademark infringement.”

In a ruling on Dec. 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for the Eastern District of New York sided with Vans, sticking with an earlier ruling that prohibited MSCHF from continuing to sell the Wavy Baby shoes. In the ruling, the court opined that the sneaker likely violates Vans’ trademark and “no special First Amendment protection applies.”

The court cited a previous case in which it decided that Jack Daniels could sue a company making pet toys that parodied its iconic whiskey bottles and label.

Tyga was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, but this isn’t the first time MSCHF has partnered with a hip-hop star for a product that ended up in legal limbo. The company previously enlisted Lil Nas X to promote a Satan Shoe that resembled Nikes, prompting that sneaker company to file a similar infringement suit.

Source: themessenger.com - Craig Rosen

Editor: IPR Daily-Horace

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