Nike and Adidas Settle Two Separate Patent Lawsuits Over Sneaker Technology

Nike and Adidas have settled a series of U.S. patent disputes over sneaker technology, according to new court documents filed last week.

The dispute between the two athletic companies started in Dec. 2021 when Nike Inc. filed a suit in the United States District Court District of Oregon claiming that Adidas AG was infringing on several of its footwear patents, namely its Flyknit knitted shoe upper technology. The suit specifically cited Adidas’s Primeknit shoes as an example of a product that allegedly infringed on Nike’s patents.

That same month, Nike requested that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) institute an investigation against Adidas based on its alleged “unlawful and unauthorized” importation and/or sale within the United States of certain knitted footwear products that infringe Nike’s patents protecting its Flyknit technology. The ITC began an investigation of Adidas’ shoes based on the complaint in January.

Adidas filed its own lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in June. In this countersuit, Adidas claimed that Nike “knowingly and intentionally” infringed on nine patents related to Adidas’ proprietary athletic technology. The lawsuit calls out Nike’s Run Club app, the Nike Training Club app and the Nike SNKRS app as allegedly containing infringing elements. The complaint also takes issue with Nike’s software connects that connects to its shoes via a remote device, which is featured in the Nike Adapt, HyperAdapt and the2016 Nike Mag.

“Adidas has long been a leader in mobile technology, including technology related to mobile fitness and mobile purchases,” Adidas claimed in the June suit. “Adidas was the first in the industry to comprehensively bring data analytics to athletes.”

Claiming it has been damaged “irreparably” by Nike’s infringement, Adidas asked to be rewarded at an amount that is compensates for Nike’s “infringing activities” that is “no event less than a reasonable royalty.”

The companies jointly asked the Oregon court to dismiss Nike’s lawsuit on Tuesday, and asked the Texas court and ITC to drop their cases on Thursday.

All of the filings said the dispute had been settled. Details of the settlement were not immediately available.

FN has reached out to both companies for comment.

Separately, both companies have been involved in their own patent-related lawsuits with other brands. Nike filed a lawsuit against StockX in February, alleging that the sneaker resale marketplace used Nike’s trademarked logos and products in attempts to enter the NFT, or non-fungible token, market. the Swoosh also accused Lululemon Athletica Inc. of patent infringement related to its at-home Mirror fitness device and other apps in a lawsuit filed in January.

In July 2021, Milkcrate Athletics sued Adidas North America for alleged copyright and trademark infringement. And in May 2018, Adidas and Skechers USA Inc. settled a lawsuit first brought by the German brand in September 2015, alleging that Skechers unlawfully infringed on several of its trademarks.

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