ITC Decision Bans Imports of Counterfeit Shoes

On June 23, 2016, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) issued a broad Exclusion Order upholding trademark protection of the Converse, Inc. diamond-patterned outsole portion of the shoe company’s famous Chuck Taylor sneaker. The Exclusion Order has the effect of barring imports of sneakers that infringe on the Converse diamond-patterned outsole.

The decision is considered a partial victory for defendants Walmart, Sketchers and New Balance, which were accused of infringing the trademark of the midsole – which consists of a rubber band around the front of the shoe, a toe cap and stripes on the sides of the Chuck Taylor shoe.  The Exclusion Order does not prevent importations of look-a-like sneakers that contain these features, as long as they do not have the diamond patterned outsole.

Converse had sought to protect its Chuck Taylor trademarks by means of civil litigation in federal court and a complaint before the ITC.  The civil litigation remains pending with the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.  The recent ITC decision could possibly be relied upon by the litigants to bolster their claims in court, as it was a mixed win for both sides. 

The Converse case highlights a much-overlooked tool available to trademark owners who are seeking to protect their brand.  While civil litigation offers the opportunity to win monetary damages from counterfeiters, successful actions before the ITC can result in exclusion orders that bar importations of infringing merchandise. 

Please contact Christina Leonard at (212-973-7769 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) for further information on this development and for additional information on how our firm can assist trademark owners assert their rights.


Dharmendra Choudhary on China-US trade relations

For more insight on China, U.S. trade relations CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Dharmendra Choudhary, foreign trade counsel, at law firm GDLSK. Dharmendra’s live interview at CCTV can be viewed by going to


President Obama signs into law H.R. 1493 “The Protect and Preserve Cultural Property Act”

On May 9, 2016, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 1493 titled “The Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act” authorizing emergency import restrictions of any archaeological or ethnological material from Syria that is unlawfully removed from Syria on or after March 15, 2011. Read More….

H.R. 1493 also calls for the President to establish an interagency coordinating committee to coordinate the efforts of the executive branch to protect and preserve international cultural property at risk from political instability, armed conflict, or natural or other disasters.  The Committee should be chaired by the rank of Assistant Secretary at the Department of State and be comprised of representatives from government agencies as well as consultants from other public and private sector sources.  James McAndrew of our staff was instrumental in influencing both the House of Representatives and members of Congress with the final version of the Bill.  The Bill was originally introduced in November 2014 as H.R. 5703 which called for the appointment of a White House Coordinator for International Cultural Property Protection.  Disagreements within governmental agencies as to the form, structure and function of the Bill led to its demise.

In March of 2015 Representatives Smith and Mr. Engel re-wrote the proposed legislation and introduced it as H.R. 1493.  This iteration attempted to comingle protective language for artifacts from both Syria and Iraq due to the crisis borne by ISIS in the Middle East.  This time the Department of State attempted to wrestle control of the Bill by specifically requiring a Department of State employee at the Assistant Secretary rank or above to serve as the United States Coordinator that excluded input and cooperation from the private sector.  James McAndrew of my staff met with ranking members of the House Ways a Means Committee as well as Senior Staffers at Congress.  He was also interviewed for his consultative expertise in this area by investigators from the General Accounting Office (GAO). The resulting effort helped produce the current and final version of the Bill that included members of the private sector in an advisory capacity to include dealers, collectors, museums and other institutions.  On May 9, 2016 the Bill was signed into law by the President of the United States. Should you want to learn more about the Bill in its final version and the impact and benefits it might offer you as a result please contact James McAndrew, Forensic Specialist, at 212-973-7705 or via email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Fundamentals of Foreign-Trade Zones: NAFTZ Spring Seminar

David M. Murphy is speaking at the 30th Annual Spring Seminar of the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones in Nashville, TN (May 22-24, 2016).  Mr. Murphy will speak on the “Fundamentals of Foreign-Trade Zones” on May 23.  The program includes seminars addressing topics currently affecting FTZ grantees, operators and users from beginners to the advanced professional. For more information about this topic, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For more information on the program, see


U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1493, the “Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act”

On April 13, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1493, the “Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act” that included emergency import restrictions for such material coming from Syria. A copy of the Bill could be viewed by selecting the below link. Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP is the pre-eminent firm in the practice of Customs and International trade laws and agreements.  Our Art Law Practice has decades of success in providing guidance and legal expertise on the forefront of complex and emerging issues affecting the trade in antiquities and ancient items.    GDLSK advised numerous clients to include museums, universities, auction houses, dealers and collectors on how to safely navigate their businesses, protect their collections and enhance their collection management practices during earlier times of “culture in conflict”.  This included the Iraq Gulf Wars, the Arab Spring, the looting in Libya and other middle eastern nations.   Contact James McAndrew of our staff at 212-973-7706 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information on the above.


Page 10 of 52