An ongoing trademark spat between Sketchers USA and Nike-owned Converse has seen the US International Trade Commission (ITC) rule that Skechers can continue importing and selling its Twinkle Toes and BOBS shoes in the US.

In its latest decision, the ITC found that Converse's registered and common law trademarks in the Chuck Taylor midsole design are invalid, and that Skechers' Twinkle Toes and BOBS shoes would not infringe them.

The footwear firms have been in dispute since October 2014, when Converse sued Skechers alleging that its Twinkle Toes and BOBS product lines infringed Converse's registered and common law trademarks in the Chuck Taylor midsole design.

The following year the ITC ruled that the two Skechers' lines did not infringe Converse's trademarks, noting that the Skechers products feature prominent branding and Twinkle Toes contains design features that "create enough differences that the shoes bearing them cannot be said to be similar to [the Chuck Taylor]."

The Judge also said Converse has no common law trademark rights in the Chuck Taylor midsole because the design is not distinctive, not famous, and has failed to acquire secondary meaning.

However, in its just-released decision the ITC reversed an earlier ruling that Converse's registered trademark for the Chuck Taylor design is valid – a move that invalidates Converse's registered trademark along with Converse's common law trademark.

The ITC concluded that there was no violation by Skechers of Converse's asserted midsole trademarks and did not issue an exclusion order against Skechers or any of Skechers' products.

"Countless companies, including Skechers, have used the same midsole design in canvas court-style sneakers for decades," said Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers.

However, two separate patent infringement lawsuits – filed by Nike and Adidas – are still ongoing. Nike claims some products resemble its Flyknit design, while Adidas alleges copyright infringement of its Stan Smith trainers.

Nike files patent lawsuit against Skechers

Adidas files trademark suit against Skechers