Nike Sues New Balance And Skechers

Nike takes legal action over Flyknit patent infringement against New Balance and Skechers, escalating tech wars in footwear

Nike Takes Legal Action Against New Balance and Skechers for Patent Infringement

Nike, a leading footwear giant, has recently filed lawsuits against New Balance and Skechers, alleging patent infringement related to its groundbreaking Flyknit technology. This move marks a significant clash between major technology innovators in the footwear industry.

The lawsuits, filed against New Balance and Skechers, accuse them of violating Nike’s patents connected to the innovative Flyknit technology. Specifically, Nike has targeted New Balance’s Fresh Foam, FuelCell, and other lines, as well as Skechers’ Ultra Flex and Glide Step brands, asserting that these products encroach upon Nike’s patent rights.

Nike isn’t new to legal battles over its Flyknit technology, having previously sued Adidas, Puma, and Lululemon on similar grounds. In response to the lawsuit, New Balance emphasised that while it respects competitors’ intellectual property, traditional manufacturing methods used in the footwear industry aren’t exclusively owned by Nike.

The Core of Flyknit Technology

Nike’s Flyknit technology, based in Beaverton, Oregon, serves as a pivotal element in running, soccer, and basketball shoes. This cutting-edge technology employs high-strength fibres to craft lightweight uppers, tailored to offer specific areas of support, stretch, and breathability.

Legal Moves and Standpoints

The legal action from Nike involved filing a complaint against New Balance in Massachusetts federal court, while the lawsuit against Skechers was filed in Los Angeles. The core contention remains that both New Balance’s athletic shoes and Skechers’ sneakers allegedly misuse Nike’s patented Flyknit technology.

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In these lawsuits, Nike contends that its patented Flyknit technology enables the creation of superior uppers while minimising material usage and waste. The sought-after outcomes include unspecified monetary damages and a permanent injunction to prevent further patent infringements by New Balance and Skechers.

Past and Ongoing Legal Tussles

This isn’t the first time Nike has legally pursued companies over Flyknit technology. Prior cases involving Adidas and Puma have been resolved through settlements, while the case against Lululemon is still ongoing.

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New Balance’s Response

New Balance’s stance reiterates its respect for intellectual property rights while highlighting that traditional manufacturing methods, integral to the footwear industry for decades, aren’t exclusively owned by Nike.

The clash between these footwear giants underscores the importance of technological innovation in the industry and the intricacies surrounding patent rights. As legal proceedings unfold, the outcome will likely shape the landscape for future innovations and patent protections within the footwear realm.

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Ridam Sharma

She's a creative storyteller with a passion for illustration and animation. Whether with words or colors, she loves to create vibrant, thought-provoking pieces that inspire and evoke emotion.
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