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Nike Files Federal Lawsuits Against New Balance and Skechers Over Patent Infringement

Bruno T
Latest News
November 07 2023 12:14AM

Nike, the footwear giant (NYSE: NKE), filed federal lawsuits this Monday against rivals New Balance and Skechers, accusing them of infringing patents related to Nike’s technology for manufacturing the upper part of sneakers.

The lawsuits claim that various New Balance athletic shoes and Skechers sneakers (NYSE: SKX) improperly utilize Nike’s patented “Flyknit” technology for running, soccer, and basketball shoes.

Nike has previously sued Adidas, Puma, and Lululemon for Flyknit patent violations. Adidas and Puma settled their cases, while Nike’s case against Lululemon is still ongoing.

New Balance stated in a press release that it “fully respects the intellectual property rights of competitors, but Nike does not have the exclusive right to conceive and produce footwear through traditional manufacturing methods that have been used in the industry for decades.”

Representatives from Nike and Skechers did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday’s lawsuits.

Nike’s website, based in Beaverton, Oregon, stated that its Flyknit technology “uses high-strength fibers to create lightweight uppers with specific areas of support, elasticity, and breathability.” The lawsuits claim that the patented technology enables the production of high-performance uppers with reduced materials and waste.

Nike’s complaint against New Balance, headquartered in Boston, was filed in the federal court of Massachusetts and alleges that New Balance’s Fresh Foam, FuelCell, and other product lines violate Nike’s patent rights. Nike also sued Skechers, headquartered in Manhattan Beach, California, in Los Angeles, alleging that Skechers footwear, including the Ultra Flex and Glide Step brands, infringed upon its patents.

Nike has requested an unspecified amount of monetary compensation from the courts and permanent injunctions preventing New Balance and Skechers from infringing on the patents.