Nike Sues lululemon, Claiming Infringement on Shoe Design
Nike is accusing the yoga lifestyle and apparel brand lululemon of infringing upon some of its shoe designs, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in New York's U.S. District Court. Canada-based lululemon launched its first footwear collection in March 2022, with women's shoes available first and men's shoes debuting in 2023, according to a press release.
Nike's lawsuit claims that lululemon's Chargefeel Mid, Chargefeel Low, Blissfeel, and Strongfeel shoes infringe on Nike's own shoe designs, which use Nike's patented Flyknit technology. Nike's website describes the technology as "a material made up of strong yet lightweight strands of yarn that have been woven into a one-piece upper, securing an athlete’s foot to the shoe platform".
Lawyers for Nike argued in the lawsuit that Nike has and is continuing to suffer "economic harm" and "irreparable injury" as a result of lululemon's shoes sales. It is asking for a judge to rule lululemon infringed on Nike's patent, to stop lululemon from infringing further, and to force lululemon to pay Nike for damages related to the infringement.
Total Retail's Take: lululemon's expansion into footwear is a direct threat to Nike as the two companies compete for a similar customer demographic's attention. Nike has also sued a number of other competitors over its patented shoe design, including Adidas, Bape, Cool Kiy, and Warren Lotas. This latest lawsuit solidifies Nike's reliance and growing concern for protecting its intellectual property.