Nike's Converse unit sues 31 companies, saying they are making knockoff Chuck Taylor sneakers

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Nike’s Converse brand is suing 31 companies, saying they are selling knockoff versions of its Chuck Taylor shoes.

Converse is suing Skechers USA, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., FILA, Ed Hardy, K-Mart Corp. and Ralph Lauren Corp., among many others. It says the companies are infringing on trademarks that cover the look of the shoe and the diamond pattern on the bottom of the sole.

Iconix Brand Group Inc., the parent of the Ed Hardy brand, declined to comment on the lawsuit. Walmart did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The North Andover, Massachusetts, company filed its lawsuits Tuesday in the Eastern District of New York and at the International Trade Commission. Converse says look-alike Chuck Taylor shoes have become more common in recent years, and says it has served about 180 cease and desist letters related to the issue since 2008.

Nike Inc. acquired Converse in 2003. Sales of the brand rose 16 per cent in the most recent quarter ended in August, to $575 million.

The New York Times first reported on the suit.