Minnetonka Moccasin’s suit against Target tip-toes away

  • Article by: DAVID PHELPS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 15, 2013 - 9:41 AM

Minnetonka Moccasin CEO said trademark case against Target "amicably" resolved.

Minnetonka Moccasin's well-publicized lawsuit against Target for trademark infringement involving a beaded thunderbird design on its shoes has quietly gone away.

In a notice filed with the lawsuit earlier this month, attorneys for Minnetonka Moccasin said they were voluntarily dismissing the lawsuit in such a manner that it cannot bring the suit back at a later time.

The one-paragraph motion did not say why Minnetonka Moccasin was dismissing the case in what's legally known as dismissal "with prejudice."

In an interview on Monday, Minnetonka Moccasin CEO David Miller would only say that the matter was "amicably and satisfactorily resolved."

Target spokeswoman Jessica Deede confirmed that the matter has been resolved and said, “We have no additional details to share.”

 

Trademark specialists speculated that some sort of deal had been reached by the two parties, likely involving a cash settlement or an agreement by Target to stop selling the alleged knockoff moccasins.

The Target moccasin, a Mossimo Orla flat moccasin, was still on Target's website Monday, on clearance for $9.99 to $16.98.

"I thought [Minnetonka Moccasin's] case was solid," said trademark attorney Scott Johnston of the Minneapolis firm Merchant & Gould. "I thought Target was going to have a hard time getting out of it."

Minnetonka filed its lawsuit in September after it discovered that Target was selling a moccasin that had a toe design similar to Minnetonka Moccasin's "iconic" thunderbird design on its $40 suede moccasin. The Target version sold for $20.

The lawsuit said Target began selling the similar moccasin after Minnetonka Moccasin "promptly and politely passed" on an offer from Target to sell the Minnetonka Moccasin line on "prime real estate" in its stores.

In the lawsuit, Minnetonka Moccasin said it has been using the thunderbird design on its shoes for more than 40 years.

David Phelps • 612-673-7269

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