Nike sues former employees and their company for allegedly violating custom-made shoes

Introduction:

The Nike trademark lawsuit against Customs By Ilene, Inc., dba Drip Creationz, isn’t the only customization-focused lawsuit this week. Also on Monday, Nike named Jeffrey Waskowiak and KickRich LLC in a similar but unrelated lawsuit, charging them with trademark infringement and dilution related to their alleged practice of “reselling Nike and Converse products that have been altered in a way that has never been changed and had been a registered trademark. Or licensed, “What It Takes for Nike and Nike’s Converse” to carefully manage the brands they partner with and where, when and how often their brands are used to help build brand awareness. “.” To guide the public. ”

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According to the lawsuit filed in Oregon federal court on Monday, Nike and Converse allege that Jeffrey Waskowiak, a former Nike employee, and his company KickRich LLC (the “defendants”) entered into a contract to manufacture “custom products.” . Completed. . “Wear closed-toe shoes. Products that” combine the soles of alleged real Nike shoes with an upper manufactured entirely by the defendants, “containing” reproductions of the famous Nike Swoosh design and other exclusive commercial garments “and then worn. “hundreds or even several thousand dollars are sold all. ”

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Nike and Converse Alle Defendants buy genuine Nike and Converse shoes like Air Jordan 1 and Air Force 1 from Converse and Chuck Taylor All Star, then buy them “without permission to remake” without exchanging them, sorry. . Products “over which Nike and Converse” have no “control”, although their “custom” shoe brands remain intact. ” Although actual parts of Nike and Converse shoes may be used in these cases, it is maintained that the original parts are “altered and combined with non-original parts or other brand logos so that they are not. more. clearly visible from Converse shoes “.

In addition to turning the genuine original shoes into very different products that still carry the Nike and Converse brands, presumably eliminating their ability to successfully invoke the first-sale doctrine, the plaintiff shoe companies claim that the defendants have done so. Worse yet, to offer “made-to-measure” shoes that “wrongly associate Nike with other brands”. For example, Nike draws attention to the shoes that the defendants present as “Custom Prime Nike Air Jordan 1”, which it claims “wrongly associates Nike with Amazon” by combining an authentic Nike Air Jordan 1 and a Food Language. . Show. “Made with Amazon Prime Bubble Wrap” and new metal eyelets, then “Apply Amazon Prime branding in various places top right with exclusive Nike Swoosh design”.

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Interestingly, Nike also highlights the combination of the defendants’ Nike shoes and the US Post brand that Nike created this spring, initially allegedly without permission. Nike shoes prompted the USPS to issue a statement distancing itself from the “unfortunate situation” in which Nike, “which aggressively protects its own intellectual property, has decided to use another brand for its own benefit.” Despite an initial dispute, the parties have since announced an official collaboration.

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Unfinished, Nike and Converse claim that Waskowiak and KickRich “the pain and weight loss doesn’t end there” as they also manufacture and sell “laser cut shoe designs” and digital downloads that allow others to to sell counterfeits of various iconic advertisements. and Nike. – Use of exclusive shoe styles including Air Force 1, Dunk and Air Jordan 1. The “Nike and Converse Claims Defendants” claim that these styles “include all shapes common to every shank, lining, gusset, foam and heel”. in other words, “the Respondent’s customers are buying these samples to make their own counterfeit Nike jerseys with the famous Swoosh design and other proprietary images.”

Finally, not to be missed, Nike and Converse claim that the defendants have confused the market by “promoting their counterfeit products including” classic “or” old-fashioned “logos and slogans as” references to prior use of Waskowiak, declaring the consent of the applicant “.”

 

Regarding the alleged damage to Nike and Converse from these “illegal adjustments”, the shoe manufacturers claim that the defendants’ products “can dilute and confuse [their] trademark rights and falsely mislead consumers”. , Origin, affiliation and / or sponsorship of the products. According to Nike and Converse, consumers are likely to be confused about the initial marketing. Market including, but not limited to, secondary market confusion and secondary market confusion. Sneakers ”, ie in the strong resale market for shoes.

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And following Drip Creationz’s complaint, Nike and Converse claim here that the defendants’ unauthorized “tweaks” affect their “privilege to choose who they work with. What color combinations they publish and what Designs convey “considerations that they believe are an integral part of their brand and the quality control of designs. Likewise, Nike and Converse claim that such unauthorized adjustments limit their ability to “control their brands” on your company’s reputation. And the associated goodwill has accumulated over the decades. ”

 

As in the Drip Creationz case, Nike and Converse sued for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, misuse of origin and unfair competition for damages in the amount to be determined in the proceedings, as well as for an injunction, which the defendants further infringements including their trademarks / or the reputation of your company.

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