NEW YORK —It looks like Britney Spears may not be skating with Skechers much longer. Spears and her company,Britney Brands Inc., filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Los Angeles- based footwear brand Skechers USA Inc.in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles eeking damages for several claims,including breach of contract,fraud and trademark infringement.
This story first appeared in the December 26, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
According to court papers,BBI is seeking com- pensatory damages exceeding $1.5 million for breach of contract,plus undeclared punitive dam- ages and a “disgorgement of profits “from what it claims is Skechers ’ “unfair practices.” In addition,, BBI is asking the court to make Skechers abide by its merchandising agreement.
Jonathan Solish,attorney for Britney Brands, said the lawsuit alleges that Skechers failed to honor a eries of basic agreements made with Britney Brands.
The lawsuit states that in September 2000, Spears ’company igned a deal with Skechers to produce a line of roller skates called 4Wheelers. In January 2002,the lawsuit said the company signed another deal with Skechers to find appro- priate ublicenses to launch additional kating merchandise under Spears ’name.According to Solish,it failed to do so.
“Skechers was supposed to approach Kids Headquarters with the possibility of producing a line of children ’s apparel under Britney ’s name,” he claimed.”Now,we found that Skechers has ap- proached them to produce a line of apparel under their own label.”
According to Solish,except for a brief national ad campaign,Skechers failed to market,promote, distribute or hip quantities of Britney-branded roller skates and accessories.Britney Brands also stated that Skechers continues to refuse to make payments as directed by the initial contract be- tween the two parties.
“At one time,there was a great relationship there,”he said.”But Skechers USA used the lure of association with Ms.Spears to benefit sales of their own branded products and failed to honor basic agreements with Britney Brands.” Executives at Skechers could not be reached for comment.