Putting The Boot In: Dr Marten sues Temu over use of trademark on Google search

I love a story that allows me to reference the more miserable part of living in a late 70’s early 80’s English country market town.

As a callow pale youth into the likes of Joy Division, the Cure & Siouxsie and the Banshees, every venture into town on the bus was accompanied by the existential fear of having your head kicked in by skinheads wearing 8-12 hole Dr Martens either in black or cherry red.

You remember these things when your body has been the receptacle for this product.

I have never worn Doc Martens and never will. I can only ever associate them with violence, anger, hatred and of coure, racism.

Now we are in the 21st century it’s all about Trademark and let’s not forget why Doc Martens were created in the first place, to do something positive.

The story then switched to post-war Munich, 1945 and Dr. Klaus Maertens, a 25-year-old soldier. While convalescing from a broken foot he created a unique air-cushioned sole (rather than the traditional hard leather sole) to aid his recovery. Using a salvaged cobbler’s last and a needle, Maertens made a prototype shoe and showed it to an old university friend and mechanical engineer, Dr. Herbert Funk.

The two went into partnership by using disused military supplies to begin producing their unique shoes. By 1947 they began formal production and within a decade had a booming business, mostly selling to older women. In 1959, they decided it was time to advertise their revolutionary footwear invention in overseas magazines.

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On a far less interesting note here’s the TM blurb.

Grungy British footwear brand Dr Martens has launched a lawsuit against online retailer Temu, accusing it of trademark infringement.

Dr Martens alleges that Temu has used Google advertisements to promote boots on its platform, using keywords like “Dr Martens” and “Airwair.” As a result, it says, Temu’s knock-off products gained visibility over Dr Martens’ authentic ones in search results.

The legal action against Temu filed at the High Court last week, as first reported by the Sunday Times. It is not known what the bootmaking firm that was founded in 1945 is seeking.

Temu, known for offering fake versions of popular brands at discount prices, has faced scrutiny over similar practices in the US market. Bernstein analysts recently discovered that Temu’s versions of branded items often appeared first in Google searches.

Although Google’s advertising policies prohibit trademark infringement, they allow advertisers to use trademarks as keywords.

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Dr Marten sues Temu over use of trademark on Google search