On Tuesday, Nike filed patent infringement lawsuit against Skechers in federal court. According to Footwear News, the Swoosh brand claims its competitor has created “Skecherized versions” of its sneakers.
The case highlights popular Nike silhouettes Air Max 270 and VaporMax designs, and specifically cites Skechers’ Skech-Air Atlas, Skech-Air 92, Skech-Air Stratus, and Skech-Air Blast shoes as infringers. Nike says that it filed the lawsuit to defend its design innovation and to stop Skechers from “free-riding” on Nike’s investment and resources.
The Air Max 270 and VaporMax notably boast the brand’s distinctive air bubble sole, which the company recently patented. According to the lawsuit, Nike believes that Skechers’ business strategy of copying competitors comes directly at the behest of CEO Robert Greenberg.
Skechers, on the other hand, contends it “merely takes inspiration from competitor products, which it calls ‘Skecherizing’.” Check out some ‘Skecherized’ examples in the Instagram gallery below.
Nike currently has two other lawsuits pending against Skechers pertaining to copied designs of Converse sneakers (a subsidiary of Nike) and Nike’s patented Nike Free and Flyknit designs.