Columbia Sportswear Company,  a global leader in the design, sourcing, marketing and distribution of active outdoor apparel and footwear, announced yesterday that it had settled a Sorel brand design infringement dispute against BiWay stores in Canada.

Columbia had asserted that children's boots sold by BiWay infringed a popular Sorel design, owned by Columbia since September 2000, when it acquired the Sorel brand and related intellectual property.

In the settlement, BiWay agreed to donate approximately 1,000 remaining pairs of the allegedly infringing boots to a charity of Columbia's choice and to pay Columbia a portion of the profits earned by BiWay from the sale of approximately 2,500 pairs of those boots.

"The sale of Sorel knock-offs underscores the continuing popularity of Sorel styles in the marketplace, but it is simply unacceptable," said Timothy Boyle, Columbia Sportswear's president and chief executive officer.

"As this action shows, we're very committed to protecting our rights to this newly acquired brand and the related Sorel designs."

Boyle continued: "We are extremely pleased with the Sorel footwear line that we're reintroducing at retail this year to enable consumers to purchase genuine Sorel classic designs."