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COWBOYS SUE CONVERSE IN PREEMPTIVE MOVE TO LAUNCH NEW LINE
Published July 17, 1998
The Cowboys filed a lawsuit yesterday against MA-based Converse Inc., to "prevent the athletic shoe maker from interfering with upcoming sales of officially licensed casual shoes, winter boots and shower slippers" bearing the team's name and logo, according to Richard Alm of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Five-pointed stars "are prominent" in the logos of both the Cowboys and Converse, and Alm reports that the team's suit, which does not contain a request for financial damages, claims that the "two stars can coexist -- as they have for years -- without confusion in the marketplace." NFLP joined the team in the suit, which Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones declined to comment on, saying only that the team was "standing side by side with the league on this matter." The new Cowboys-themed footwear will be manufactured by FL-based Foot-Tec Industries Inc., and is slated to begin shipping "[i]n the next few weeks." The team and league "struck first" in litigation because they "believed that Converse intended to file suit to stop distribution of the new shoes." Converse execs could not be reached for comment (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 7/7). BLOOMBERG's Loren Steffy reports the Cowboys' action is the "latest twist in a four-year battle" between the team and Converse over the use of the star logo. The Cowboys' suit claims that in '94, the shoe company filed an objection with the U.S. Patent Office over the team's plans to place its star logo on shoes and clothing, saying the logo "would cause confusion" with its own logo (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/17).