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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.com, http://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.

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 suit involving Lotas was settled last month.

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