SKECHERS Denies ASICS Trademark Allegations

Feb 7, 2007 • 5:02 pm EST


SKECHERS USA, Inc. (NYSE:SKX), a global leader in lifestyle footwear, today stated that it denies all trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution and false advertising claims filed against the Company by ASICS America Corporation and ASICS Corporation (Japan) on January 26, 2007 in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. ASICS alleges that several SKECHERS styles bear a stripe design similar to an ASICS stripe design. SKECHERS vehemently denies the allegations and is preparing to defend its shoes and customers in court.

"We believe that this lawsuit is completely without merit and will vigorously defend ourselves and our customers against such baseless allegations," says Philip G. Paccione, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of SKECHERS. "Our stripe design does not look like the ASICS trademark; in fact, on the shoes in issue, our differences are patently obvious. Our designs use one horizontal stripe while ASICS uses two horizontal lines -- a prominent feature of the ASICS trademark. In addition, our designs do not mimic the curves and contours of ASICS' design. There are many differences."

Paccione continued: "It is incredulous for ASICS to state in a press release that SKECHERS is trying 'to free-ride on the ASICS brand image and good will.' As owners of numerous famous trademarks and other intellectual property in the footwear industry, SKECHERS respects the trademarks of other brands and spends tens of millions of dollars each year to prominently brand and distinguish its own products from competitors. And as a practical matter, there is no possibility that any trade or individual consumer will be confused by the SKECHERS design. SKECHERS footwear and packaging are prominently branded with the globally recognized SKECHERS name and trademarks at every turn, which ASICS conveniently omitted from their complaint. We believe that this lawsuit is an attempt by ASICS to monopolize the use of commonly used stripe designs on footwear and undermine legitimate competition by using the courthouse."

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 under seven uniquely brand 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-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 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.