Last month Puma released special versions of its Cali-0 and California models, designed with the help of Chinatown Market founder Mike Cherman that appeared to take some unofficial inspiration from popular California fast food chain In-N-Out. According to NBC4 Los Angeles, In-N-Out has since filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the German sportswear company.
In-N-Out claims that Puma has used its trademarks and signature colors without permission. Each white leather low-top is accented with red and yellow detailing resembling the color combination of the fast food establishment. Its palm tree graphic is also featured on laces. In official court documents obtained by Sole Collector, In-N-Out referenced how these similarities have led certain customers to believe that these shoes were an official collaboration.
The chain also cites Puma's marketing of its products in connection to burgers, the food item that In-N-Out is most well-known for serving. In-N-Out has asked Puma to cease production of the aforementioned sneakers and accompanying advertisements to no avail. The California Drive Thru is currently available for purchase online. The company has also requested to be awarded any profits related to the sales of the shoes along with unspecified damages.
"By using In-N-Out's designs and trade dress, Puma and Cherman intentionally confused consumers for their own benefit and have also created the impression that our marks and unique trade dress are available for public use," executive vice president of In-N-Out Burger Arnie Wensinger said in a statement to NBC4.
Puma has declined Sole Collector's request for comment.