The footwear industry is evolving day by day and different unique types of footwear are invented in the market, which basically increases the work of IPR. This article talks about the startup of footwear industry in India in the terms of IPR. It also covers the financial status and growth of these startup in India. The importance of IPR in startups of footwear industry and how they evolved. The different types of IPR in footwear industry and how it is applicable in the footwear startups with real life cases and examples.                                                                                              



The fashion industry has been through a drastic change in the last few decades. Earlier people used for basic use only but now in the modern world, it has become an important part of fashion. Different footwear serves different purpose which makes the niche of footwear very wide. More than just a means of keeping our feet secure and comfortable, shoes now serve as a fashion statement and a window into our social status. An increasing number of people are spending large sums of money on shoes and clothing due to the introduction of social media and an increase in living standards. Sales in the footwear sector have increased significantly as a result. The market is growing. High demand and ease of setup are drawing investors to it.

With the increasing income, people are buying different footwear for different events. For e.g. Sport shoes for gym, formal shoes for wedding, flip-flops for casual use and so on. Further, the quality of footwear differs with price. Some costly footwear created by famous brands like Puma are more comfortable and lite compared to others. Now lets discuss in brief about the Impact Of IPR Startup Of Footwear Industry.

FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY IN INDIA:                                                                                        

According to the report by Statista, India is the second largest producer of Footwear and by the end of 2024, the non leather footwear in Indian market will cross $6 billions mark. The leather and non leather segments by domestic market gives a huge impact on footwear industry of India. The only country which is ahead India in this market is China. The valuation of footwear industry of India is currently around $17 billions. 75% of the non – leather footwear in India is produced by MSMEs.

Even though leather footwear plays a vital role in building up of the Indian footwear market, many people are shifting towards non – leather products watching the trends of western culture. Government also made some strict policy in reducing the production of leather footwear beacause it leads to animal cruelty.

IMPORTANCE OF IPR IN FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY:                                                             

The reason why IPR is so important in footwear startups and industry is because it protects the exclusive rights that are granted to the owner for the creation of its own product. For e.g. let's take Bata which is a very big Indian brands when it comes to footwear industry. They produce high quality footwear at a high price with finest material quality that’s why people are attracted towards it. Now another person started making poor quality footwear but he’s using the name “Bata” and the logo of Bata which creates confusion between people and people started buying it at low price. It basically affected the reputation and goodwill of the brand and this is what IPR stops others from doing.

Some of the different types of rights that are granted to the owner in IPR are:-

1.      Trademark: In very layman language, according to “The Trademark Act 1999” any signs, symbols or logo that helps in the creation of unique identity from other brands are strictly restricted to be used by anyone or if someone is using it which is likely to create any confusion in the minds of people. The example which we took above falls under this category.

2.      Copyrights: The Copyright Act 1956, basically defines any literal, musical, dramatic and artistic work created by a person helps them by not creating the same work and publishing the same thing regarding that particular product. For eg: Sketchers was making their own version of “Stan Smith” which is one of the most popular footwear of Adidas. The federal court granted a preliminary injunction against Sketchers.

3.      Patents: According to the Patent Act 1970, a patent is an exclusive right given for an invention, which is an object or method that generally gives a new approach to accomplishing something or a novel technological solution to an issue. For e.g. With the use of a proprietary air-filled system, Reebok's groundbreaking "inflatable pump" technology lets users customize the fit of their shoes.

CASES IN INDIA RELATED TO FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY IN IPR:                                    

1.      Relaxo Footwears Ltd. V. Nikhil Footwear and Anr. :- The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi issued an order on September 10, 2021, prohibiting the defendants from producing, marketing, importing, and other activities involving products that bear designs that are blatantly or dishonestly copies the plaintiff's registered design and may therefore constitute infringement of the plaintiff's intellectual property.

2.      Christian Louboutin's Case: The Plaintiff claimed that the Defendants are infringing upon their registered trademark, "RED SOLE," and the Court granted their allegation. As a result, it awarded Plaintiff a permanent injunction. The Court considered its ruling in the Hindustan Unilever Limited v. Reckitt Benckiser India Limited case (2014 (57) PTC 495) while determining whether to grant damages. It further noted that 45 pairs of infringing shoes were found on the defendant's property, and that the infringement had been ongoing for 15 months. Therefore, after accounting for a number of circumstances, including the defendant's revenue, the Court awarded the plaintiff INR 10 lakh in damages and litigation costs.


The startup of footwear industry has changed so much in last few years and it is emerging day by day and the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) has become very important in this field as it safeguards the exclusive rights that are granted to the owner. We have studied different types of IPR with examples and their usage, how it protects the brand’s reputation and goodwill of that company. The Indian government has designated the footwear sector as a priority industry under the Made in India initiative. The fashion industry's footwear business is seeing rapid growth due to advancements in technology and retail. Over the next years, there will be a rise in demand for footwear items in India as consumers there won't compromise on comfort or elegance.