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Why Nike and Converse are suing 600 websites + hundreds of Social Media accounts

Nike Inc. and owned-label Converse Inc. have filed a sweeping lawsuit against 589 websites as well as hundreds of social media accounts for allegedly infringing on various of their brands’ trademarks and attempting to sell counterfeit products.In a complaint filed on Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Nike and Converse claim the nearly 600 websites — including http://www.mybestsneakers.comhttp://www.muks-store.com, and perfectkicks.org — as well as 676 social media accounts have attempted to capitalize on the popularity of Nike and Converse’ trademarks by manufacturing and marketing “falsely labeled” counterfeit products.“Each of defendants’ 589 infringing websites … is currently, or was within the past twelve months, advertising, offering to sell, and/or selling counterfeit Nike or Converse products to United States consumers,” the complaint reads, adding that the defendants are operating “a counterfeit scheme” via 42 separate networks based in China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain as well as other foreign jurisdictions.

“To ensure that consumers make the association between defendants’ counterfeit products and the genuine Nike Products from which they were copied, defendants not only copy the designs, patterns and color schemes associated with [Nike and Converse] products, but also expressly identify the counterfeit products as ‘Nike’ or ‘Converse’ products,” the lawsuit states. “Further, defendants make unauthorized use of plaintiffs’ marks, including the trademark-protected ‘Nike’ and ‘Converse’ names, throughout the infringing websites and infringing social media on which these goods are advertised or offered for sale to consumers in the United States and this District.”

FN has reached out to Nike for further comment.

H&M fake chuck taylors

Both Nike and Converse have a well-documented history of aggressively defending their various trademarks. In 2014, Converse made headlines when it sued more than 30 different companies, including Walmart, Kmart and H&M, for allegedly knocking off the design of its iconic Chuck Taylor sneakers. (Most of those claims have since been settled.) Nike, meanwhile, has sued multiple brands over the years for alleged trademark infringement. In addition to ongoing litigation with Skechers, the brand recently sued designer Warren Lotas and his eponymous company for trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition, among other counts.

The legal battle between Nike Inc. and Warren Lotas appears to have came to an end last month.

According to a filing in the United States District Court in the Central District of California, the sportswear giant has entered into a confidential settlement agreement with the Los Angeles-based brand and its eponymous founder.

If approved by the court, Nike’s consent judgment and permanent injunction will ban Lotas from “manufacturing, transporting, promoting, importing, advertising, publicizing, distributing, offering for sale or selling any products” that use Nike’s trademarks and trade dress. This includes the Swoosh logo, the “Nike” and “Dunk” names and the silhouette of the Dunk shoe, which was at the center of the lawsuit filed in mid-October.

 influential sneakers of all time.” The Beaverton, Ore.-based company accused Lotas and his company of trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition, among other counts.

In the complaint, Nike called out several Warren Lotas releases, including the Warren Lotas x Staple Pigeon OG sneaker, which posted on Warren Lotas’ Instagram account on Sept. 27 and was sold out by the time of the suit’s filing.

“Warren Lotas only recently announced these sneakers, but there is already confusion in the marketplace regarding whether they are legitimate customizations or illegal fakes,” read the lawsuit.

Nike sues Warren Lotas Nike Dunks
Nike provided these images as part of its trademark infringement suit against Warren Lotas.
CREDIT: *THE CASE IS NIKE, INC. V. WARREN LOTAS AND WARREN LOTAS LLC.

Two days later, Lotas indicated that he planned to move forward with fulfilling orders for pairs of his label’s sneakers that were mentioned in the suit. “We are currently investigating the claims made against us and will do what it takes to remedy the situation amicably,” he wrote in a post on his Instagram account. “We are in the midst of an historic moment — something that will make these shoes feel like you’re wearing a trophy for small business, rather than the source of controversy.”

Currently, the WarrenLotas.com site appears to be closed for online orders. A message on the homepage reads “Thank you for your continued support!”

What do you think?

Written by The Editor

warrior dedicated to the cause of fighting the takeover of our culture.

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