This lawsuit, to me, is much more important than others. As someone who writes about sneakers on a daily basis, I quickly realized our words have lasting effects. In Nike’s latest lawsuit against Skechers, Nike’s attorneys point to a Complex article that describes the Skechers shoes as rip-offs. Here’s all the information from the Portland Tribune:
Nike is suing Skechers USA for trademark infringement involving designs of the Burst, Flex Appeal and Flex Advantage athletic shoes.
The Washington County company filed its 14-page lawsuit Monday, Jan. 4, in Oregon’s U.S. District Court. Nike claims Skechers used designs that were too similar to Nike’s shoes for the Manhattan Beach, Calif., company’s Burst, Women’s Flex Appeal, Men’s Flex Advantage, Girl’s Skech Appeal and Boy’s Flex Advantage Shoes.
“On information and belief, an ordinary observer will perceive the overall appearance of the designs of the Nike Patents and the corresponding designs of Skechers’ Infringing Shoes to be substantially the same,” Nike stated in court papers.
Nike claims the shoes infringed on its Flyknit designs covered by three patents. The company is asking the court to order Skechers to stop making shoes with the infringing designs, and award Nike an unspecified amount of damages, which could include profits from the sale of Skechers’ shoes.
Skechers’ spokeswoman Jennifer Gray said the company does not comment on pending litigation. No court date has been set for the case.
In the complaint, Nike attorneys pointed to a November 2015 story on thewww.Complex.com website claiming that Skechers’ Burst shoes “ripped off” Nike designs. The article claims Skechers even used phrases that sounded very similar to marketing to sell adidas’ Boost sneakers.
Converse legal fight
It’s the second time in more than a year that a Nike company has sued Skechers for patent infringement. In October 2014, Nike-owned Converse sued Skechers in federal court, saying Skechers’ Twinkle Toes and BOBS shoes infringed the Chuck Taylor trademark.
In November 2015, a chief administrative law judge of the International Trade Commission ruled that Skechers’ shoes did not infringe on Converse’s trademark. The publicly traded company told shareholders that it set aside about $5.9 million to fight the Converse trademark lawsuit.
Skechers USA is a $2 billion company that makes and markets more than 3,000 styles for men, women and children. Skechers’ shoes are sold through more than 1,200 company-owned stores and other retailers in the United States and in 120 countries.