L.A. Gear to Pay $1 Million in 'Pump' Settlement

From Associated Press

L.A. Gear Inc. agreed Thursday to pay $1 million and additional licensing fees to settle claims that it infringed on Reebok International Ltd.'s patent for its "Pump" inflatable shoes.

Reebok sued the Los Angeles-based sneaker company last month after gaining a patent on the technology used to make the Pump, which became a hot-selling shoe after it was introduced in late 1989.

In settling the lawsuit, L.A. Gear said two of its footwear lines, "Regulator" and "Gauge," use inflatable technology covered by Reebok's patent.

"We believe it is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders to settle this lawsuit at this time," Stanley Gold, chairman of L.A. Gear, said in a statement.

Gold said the settlement "will minimize any disruption in our business" while avoiding the time and costs of a lawsuit.

Under the settlement terms, L.A. Gear agreed to pay $1 million to Reebok and additional money in exchange for a license to make and sell footwear using inflatable technology. Those future payments will be based on sales of the L.A. Gear shoes.

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