Lawsuit over use of barefoot marathoner's name dismissed

SEATTLE (AP) A federal judge says the maker of a popular line of minimalist running shoes is not liable for naming some of its models after Abebe Bikila, the legendary Ethiopian runner who won the 1960 Olympics marathon barefoot.

Bikila's family sued Vibram, which makes foot-glove-style shoes, in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Washington, early last year, seeking $15 million in damages. The family said the Concord, Massachusetts-based company didn't have permission to use the Bikila name.

But Judge Ronald Leighton dismissed the case on Monday. He found that the family knew by 2011 that Vibram was using the name, yet didn't file suit until 2015. The judge said it would have been unfair to Vibram to allow the lawsuit to go forward after such a delay.

Alex Trauman, a lawyer for the Bikilas, said the family is disappointed and considering an appeal.