Footwear firm Skins said the US Patent and Trademark Office has approved a patent application for its two-part, interchangeable footwear structure.

The patent allowance comes into effect immediately, with the patent pending status officially removed in the coming three to four months. This will enable Skins to take legal action against an infringing party or company.

The shoe structure consists of outer collapsible 'skins' plus an inner orthopaedic support section called the 'bone'.

Skins president and CEO Mark Klein said: "The allowance from the US Patent and Trademark office marks a major milestone for Skins. This legitimises and protects our revolutionary footwear and allows us to move forward with our long-term, intellectual property strategy.

"We intend on continuing to strengthen our position within the footwear industry. Our patents and cutting-edge product design will be a cornerstone for future business as we look to license our technology and enter new markets."

In addition to receiving this allowance for the Skins and Bones technology in the US, Skins also owns the patent and trademark applications internationally for every country and territory where it does business.

The company plans a a full-scale launch into US retailers for spring/summer 2007.