Nike Inc. is taking legal action to defend what it describes as “one of the most iconic and influential sneakers of all time.”
The Beaverton, Ore.-based company on Wednesday filed suit against Los Angeles-based brand Warren Lotas and its eponymous founder for alleged trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition, among other counts. The complaint addresses several Warren Lotas releases — including the Warren Lotas X Staple Pigeon OG sneaker — which it said constitute “illegal fakes” of its Nike Dunk sneakers.
In court documents obtained by FN, the Swoosh said its Dunk sneakers — especially limited-edition collaborations — “are coveted by sneakerheads throughout the world” and that its 2005 limited-edition Nike SB Dunk Low NYC Pigeon “sells for tens-of- thousands of dollars in the secondary sneaker market.”
Nike went on to accuse Warren Lotas of “promoting and selling” fraudulent versions of that 15-year-old release, pointing to the Warren Lotas X Staple Pigeon OG sneaker, which posted on WL’s Instagram account on Sept. 27 and is sold out, but trading on StockX for as much as $25,000.
“Warren Lotas only recently announced these sneakers, but there is already confusion in the marketplace regarding whether they are legitimate customizations or illegal fakes,” the suit continued. “Warren Lotas intentionally created the confusion, and he is attempting to capitalize on it, by, among other things, using Nike’s registered DUNK word mark, using Nike’s registered Dunk trade dress, and using a mark that is confusingly similar to Nike’s famous Swoosh design to promote and sell his fakes.”
OFFICIAL @STAPLEPIGEON X WL REINTERPRETED OG SHOES ARE GONE – Thank you Jeff and Billy for giving me an opportunity to be a part of your legacy. Love me or hate me, I’m glad we can include so many more people in this moment. An official reinterpretation of a fucking CLASSIC! – PLEASE READ: We will leave the sneakers up for 15 MINUTES WITHOUT A SET QUANTITY. We want this shoe to be accessible to EVERYONE. EVERYONE THAT WANTS A PAIR WILL GET A PAIR. – THIS IS A PRE-ORDER THAT WILL TAKE 3-4 MONTHS TO PRODUCE. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS BEFORE YOU PURCHASE. IT IS A PRE-ORDER. THIS IS A WARREN LOTAS SHOE, IT IS PRODUCED FROM SCRATCH BY ME. PLEASE KNOW THAT. NO ALIBABA BULLSHIT. ITALIAN MATERIALS.
A post shared by Warren Lotas (@warrenlotas) on Sep 27, 2020 at 9:00am PDT
Although mentioned in the suit as a collaborator for the original edition Nike SB Dunk Low NYC Pigeon — as well as listed as a partner on Warren Lotas’ Instagram — Jeff Staple is not named by Nike as a party in the suit.
Attempts to reach Warren Lotas for comment have so far been unsuccessful.
A spokesperson for Nike said the brand does not comment on pending litigation.
Nike is seeking, among other things, punitive and compensatory damages as well as an order prohibiting further manufacturing of the allegedly infringing wares.
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