Nike is accusing three of its former senior shoe designers of stealing its secrets and taking them to adidas. This follows September’s announcement regarding the trio and adidas’s new footwear design studio in Brooklyn. Nike is claiming at least $10 million in damages, saying the former designers Marc Dolce, Mark Miner and senior design director Denis Dekovic started consulting for adidas while still working at the company, violating their non-compete agreements.

Nike said the designers also brought adidas information about Nike’s plans for the next few years in its running, sportswear and soccer lines. The plans for the studio were essentially for a knockoff of Nike’s own design lab, according to the complaint.

Before leaving Nike, the complaint alleged the designers copied sensitive design and business documents from their computers, including drawings for an unreleased shoe made for one of Nike’s sponsored athletes. Nike also claimed that adidas knew of the non-compete agreements and promised to pay for any legal fallout. Stay tuned for more information as the story develops.

UPDATE: Former Nike designer Denis Dekovic reacted already on his personal Facebook page with the following: “During our entire careers at Nike, we gave nothing but our maximum effort. We collectively poured in hours, passion and dedication beyond what was asked or expected of us, often prioritizing our jobs over our families.
Until the very end, we stayed engaged, loyal and committed. We have a tremendous amount of respect for our colleagues and Nike and would never do anything to harm them.
We find Nike’s allegations hurtful because they are either false or are misleading half-truths. We did not take trade secrets or intellectual property when we departed in September.
We are looking forward to bringing new and innovative ideas and designs to adidas when our non-competition agreement expires.”

We will keep you in the loop on how this story develops.

Brian Farmer is Highsnobiety's Managing Editor and is based in New York City.

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