Description of Shoe Strap, Raised Heel, and Grooved Sole Does Not Support Allegation of Non-Functionality

Overruling plaintiff’s objections to the magistrate judge’s recommendation, the court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s trade dress infringement claim because plaintiff failed to sufficiently allege its claimed dress over three styles of shoes was non-functional. “⁠[As] detailed in Judge Locke’s Report, no specific facts are plead that plausibly support the non-functionality of the claimed trade dress. In fact, features such as the strap, the raised heel appendage and woven uppers are functional in that such features help the user put them on and keep them on; similarly, grooved soles provide traction for the wearer. Moreover, the ornamental features of the claimed trade dress, such as the shoes’s multi-colored or multi-shaded straps ‘serve to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the shoes, rather than to identify their source.’ The FAC’s depiction of what are claimed to be ‘alternative constructions performing the same functions’ are, as Judge Locke concluded, different categories of shoe features which do not perform the same function.”

Eliya, Inc. v. Steven Madden, Ltd., 2-15-cv-01272 (NYED 2018-02-22, Order) (Denis R. Hurley)

2018-02-26T12:43:03+00:00February 26th, 2018|Press|