Vibram and Fila Settle Patent Case

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shoemakers Vibram USA and Fila USA said Friday that they reached a settlement in a patent infringement lawsuit.

Vibram filed suit against Fila this summer in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts claiming Fila's "Skele-Toes" shoes violated the patent rights of Vibram's "FiveFinger" shoe designs. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Vibram's shoes were introduced roughly five years ago and area easily spotted by their unique shape, which includes an individual casing for each toe. The design strips away much of the padding of traditional shoes and allows for individual toe movement, which the company says provides better overall movement of the body.

The popularity of this type of design, often referred to as "barefoot" shoes, has grown over the past few years. A number of shoe makers have created their own barefoot shoe lines.

Vibram and Fila representatives declined to comment on the case.


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