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V.F. Corp.'s Vans sues Target for allegedly copying shoe design

V.F. Corp. and its footwear brand Vans filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Target Corp. that accuses the retail giant of copying a popular Vans sneaker design.

In the complaint filed Dec. 20 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the plaintiffs allege that Target "intentionally and willfully" copied the Vans Old Skool skateboarding sneaker when designing the Camella Lace-Up Sneaker for the retailer's Wild Fable product line.

V.F. Corp. and Vans said trademarked design elements such as a distinctive side stripe were incorporated into Target's shoe. They claim that the Camella shoes are "likely to cause confusion in the marketplace" as a result, noting that they have been referred to as "fake Vans" by consumers on the Target website.

The lawsuit also accuses Target of unfair competition and alleges that the retailer is misappropriating Vans' reputation as a streetwear brand to bring credibility to the Wild Fable line, which is aimed at younger consumers.

V.F. Corp. and Vans are seeking for Target halt all sales and marketing of the Camella sneakers in addition to demanding monetary damages from the retailer.

The lawsuit comes shortly after V.F. Corp. and Vans sued Irish apparel retailer Primark Ltd., also alleging that Vans sneaker designs had been copied.

Target did not immediately respond to a request for comment from S&P Global Market Intelligence.