On Thursday, Kayne West filed a lawsuit against Walmart, alleging that the retail giant is knocking off one of his latest shoe designs, the Yeezy Foam Runners.

According to documents obtained by TMZ, West’s team filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court, citing California’s Unfair Competition Law, which prohibits deceptive business practices. The lawsuit goes on to claim that Walmart could cost the billionaire rapper “hundreds of millions of dollars” in sales as the cheaper versions are easily confused with the genuine Foam Runners.

DCO Global News
Published on June 26, 2021
By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

“Consumers are purchasing the imitation Yeezy Foam Runner footwear from Walmart on the mistaken belief that the shoes are associated with West and the Yeezy brand,” the filing states.

The shoes in question can only be found on Walmart’s website, although most have been taken down since the news of West’s lawsuit broke, coming up as “unavailable” or on “backorder” when searched. And while Walmart’s Daeful Mens Womens Kids Summer Beach Foam Runner Anti Slipper Sandals Casual offers different colors than the Yeezy shoes released in collaboration with Adidas, the similarity of the designs—including the shape and teardrop cutouts along the shoe—is nearly identical.

The real Yeezy Foam Runners were introduced in June 2020 and the $75 shoes sold out after immediately their release. Their resale value – which is where the real money is made – ranges from $250 to $800. (An original pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1 sneakers worn by West at the 2008 Grammy Awards set a record at auction in April, selling for a staggering $1.8 million.) The knockoff pair, by contrast were listed for $25 to $35 on Walmart’s website.

“The product referenced in the complaint is not sold by Walmart, but rather by third party marketplace sellers,” a Walmart spokesperson told TMZ about the faux Runners “We take allegations like this seriously and are reviewing the claim. We will respond in court as appropriate after we have been served with the complaint.”

Walmart Logo and Yeezy logo
Seeing Stars: In April, Walmart claimed that the Yeezy logo (left) was too similar to its own (right). WALMART AND YEEZY
This suit is not the first time the two brands have stepped on each other’s toes.

In April, Walmart claimed that West’s idea for the new Yeezy logo looked too similar to the “rays from a sun” logo Walmart has been using since 2007 and the world’s largest retailer filed a claim with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office alleging that its customers might get confused. Walmart’s sun logo features six solid lines emanating from a circle while the Yeezy logo is comprised of 8 dotted lines emanating from a circle.

Walmart claimed that the Yeezy logo application should be blocked because the company has been using this design for the past 14 years. However, some experts thought that Walmart was reaching in its attempt to block the logo application given that the company is a mass-market retailer and Yeezy is considered an upscale brand.

For now at least, the shoe is on the other foot in the West-Walmart showdown.

By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka


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