SKECHERS Footwear to Refile Lawsuit against Asics for Trade Libel, Unfair Competition and Tortious Interference with Business Relationships

Apr 16, 2007 • 4:42 pm EDT

Company Will Seek $100 Million in Punitive Damages


SKECHERS USA, Inc. (NYSE:SKX), a global leader in lifestyle footwear, stated today that it will be re-filing its lawsuit against Asics Corporation and Asics America Corporation (collectively "Asics") for trade libel, unfair competition and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage and economic business relations. The suit will be re-filed when Skechers answers Asics' complaint. Skechers will seek $100 million in punitive damages and a declaration that none of its designs infringe Asics' trademarks.

"SKECHERS dismissed its lawsuit against Asics without prejudice in the 'interest of judicial economy' and will be re-filing the suit as counterclaims in Asics' lawsuit, which was explained in a March 28, 2007 letter to Asics' lawyers," began Philip G. Paccione, General Counsel of Skechers. "Given that Skechers' declaratory relief claim against Asics involves the same legal and factual issues as Asics' infringement claims against Skechers, we elected to re-file as counterclaims and avoid wasting public tax money by maintaining separate suits. It was an opportune time to dismiss and consolidate since the parties were attempting to resolve the matter and the Skechers' suit had not yet been served."

Paccione continued: "On April 13, 2007, Asics' lawyers issued a press release stating that Skechers dropped its trade libel suit. The press release did not include relevant information given to Asics in the March 28 letter, including the reason why Skechers dropped the suit, that the suit was dismissed without prejudice, and that Skechers intends to re-file when it answers Asics' complaint."

SKECHERS USA, Inc., based in Manhattan Beach, California, designs, develops and markets a diverse range of footwear for men, women and children under the SKECHERS name, as well as 10 uniquely branded names. SKECHERS footwear is available in the United States via department and specialty stores, Company-owned SKECHERS retail stores and its e-commerce website, as well as in over 100 countries and territories through the Company's global network of distributors and Canadian and European subsidiaries. Please visit or call the Company's information line at 877-INFO-SKX.

This announcement may contain forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, any statement that may predict, forecast, indicate or simply state future results, performance or achievements of the Company, and can be identified by the use of forward looking language such as "believe," "anticipate," "expect," "estimate," "intend," "plan," "project," "will be," "will continue," "will result," "could," "may," "might," or any variations of such words with similar meanings. Any such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause or contribute to such differences include international, national and local general economic, political and market conditions; intense competition among sellers of footwear for consumers; changes in fashion trends and consumer demands; popularity of particular designs and categories of products; the level of sales during the spring, back-to-school and holiday selling seasons; the ability to anticipate, identify, interpret or forecast changes in fashion trends, consumer demand for our products and the various market factors described above; the ability of the Company to maintain its brand image; the ability to sustain, manage and forecast the Company's growth and inventories; the ability to secure and protect trademarks, patents and other intellectual property; the loss of any significant customers, decreased demand by industry retailers and cancellation of order commitments; potential disruptions in manufacturing related to overseas sourcing and concentration of production in China, including, without limitation, difficulties associated with political instability in China, the occurrence of a natural disaster or outbreak of a pandemic disease in China, or electrical shortages, labor shortages or work stoppages that may lead to higher production costs and/or production delays; changes in monetary controls and valuations of the Yuan by the Chinese government; increased costs of freight and transportation to meet delivery deadlines; violation of labor or other laws by our independent contract manufacturers, suppliers or licensees; potential imposition of additional duties, tariffs or other trade restrictions; business disruptions resulting from natural disasters such as an earthquake due to the location of the Company's domestic warehouse, headquarters and a substantial number of retail stores in California; changes in business strategy or development plans; the ability to obtain additional capital to fund operations, finance growth and service debt obligations; the ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; compliance with recent corporate governance legislation including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; the disruption, expense and potential liability associated with existing or unanticipated future litigation; and other factors referenced or incorporated by reference in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005 and in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006. The risks included here are not exhaustive. We operate in a very competitive and rapidly changing environment. New risks emerge from time to time and we cannot predict all such risk factors, nor can we assess the impact of all such risk factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Given these risks and uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. Moreover, reported results should not be considered an indication of the Company's future performance.

Source: SKECHERS USA, Inc.