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COUNTERFEIT K-SWISS CLASSICS SEIZED IN SOUTH TEXAS RAID: LITIGATION BEING PROSECUTED AGAINST DEFENDANT IN U.S. DISTRICT COURT

 CHATSWORTH, Calif., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Dozens of shoes visually similar to K-Swiss "Classic" all-leather athletic shoes were seized recently in a raid on a small shop in El Paso, Texas, just blocks from the Mexican border, it was announced today by K-Swiss.
 A major international manufacturer and marketer of athletic shoes, apparel and accessories, K-Swiss added that it has filed suit in the United States Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division, for an injunction and damages against the defendant in the case, Myong Hwan Ko dba Tennis International of El Paso.
 "We will not be victimized in South Texas, Mexico or anywhere else," said K-Swiss Company Counsel Lee Green.
 The shoes were seized in a raid by U.S. Marshals with the assistance of the U.S. Border Patrol, the El Paso Police Department and K-Swiss' attorneys.
 "The shoes seized by the Marshals had actually been displayed in the store that was raided, and there was a point-of-sale sign promoting them as `K-Swiss' shoes," Green said. "The defendant substantially copied our design for the `Classic' model shoe, including the unique features of that shoe such as the side stripes/D-ring combination lacing system and the `Classic' toe box design. The shoes even had a shield logo on both the outsole and upper that is similar to K-Swiss' Shield Emblem Device trademark," Green noted.
 "One of the few differences between the seized shoes and the authentic 'Classic' shoes is that the seized shoes had four stripes instead of five," Green said. "There were other subtle differences that might be noticed by someone very familiar with the 'Classic' design, but most consumers would likely be deceived. The shoes definitely had the K-Swiss 'Classic' look," he noted.
 "This case is very significant to K-Swiss because we obtained a seizure order primarily to protect our trade dress, though we also claimed trademark infringement," Green explained. "This reinforces our belief, advanced in five Federal lawsuits filed in the last 18 months, that the 'Classic' trade dress is so well known among the public that it warrants the strongest possible legal protection," he added.
 While the current case is still pending, Green is optimistic about the outcome. "Over the last three years, we have taken on large U.S. retailers, professional counterfeiters in Taiwan, Korea and the Philippines, and local retail stores -- all to protect the trade dress of our 'Classic' shoe, elements of which are incorporated into many of our other shoe designs such as the new 'Zurich' shoe," Green explained.
 "To date, we have stopped the copying in each of those cases," he added.
 -0- 9/23/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Krenn, K-Swiss Inc., 818-998-3388, ext. 181/


CO: K-Swiss Inc. ST: California, Texas IN: TEX SU:

JB-LM -- LA029 -- 5205 09/23/93 18:07 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 23, 1993
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