Supreme Court rules in favour of New Balance in shoe battle case against Bestseller
On May 2012, The Danish Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the court of first instance, thus awarding New Balance DKK 2.5 million in damages and roughly DKK ½ million in case cost, due to trademark infringement of New Balance’s shoes.
The products of Bestseller “JJ Slick” and “JJ Stan” were found to be close imitations of the New Balance product line of the “Grounder Hi” and the “Number 5” shoes, constituting a violation of the Danish marketing act. Bestseller had sold 7000 pairs of “JJ Slick” and 12800 pairs of “JJ Stan”.
Moreover, Bestseller had used the trademark of PF Flyers in an advertisement published in 290.000 copies in connection with their marketing of the said products, which the court found to be a serious infringement of the trademark rights of New Balance.
Attorney Hanne Weywardt from MAQS Law Firm, representing New Balance, states that the Supreme Court decision is principal. “If you look at recent years’ of case law within this field, it was difficult to foresee the outcome of the Supreme Court rulings when it comes to infringement matters. However, this ruling of the Supreme Court clearly states how far you can go in stealing ideas from others making a business out of it”.
Bestseller had made an unfair profit of DKK 1.7 million and with the recent ruling awarding New Balance a considerably higher amount, the ruling confirms that it is not worthwhile violating the rights of other businesses.
To the right, images of the products in question – Concerning Number 5, the infringing product "JJ Stan" is displayed to the right.