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Converse, Inc. v. International Trade Commission

Converse, Inc., appeals from a final determination of the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) that held invalid Converse’s trademark in the midsole design of its Chuck Taylor All Star shoes, U.S. Trademark Registration No. 4,398,753 (“the ’753 trademark”). Because it found the registered mark invalid and that Converse could not establish the existence of common-law trademark rights, the ITC determined there was no violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. § 1337 (2012), by the importation of the accused products. The ITC nonetheless addressed infringement, finding that various accused products would have infringed Converse’s mark if valid.

We hold that the ITC erred in applying the wrong standard in aspects of both its invalidity and infringement determinations. We vacate and remand for further proceedings.

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