Nike has filed a lawsuit against A Bathing Ape for Trade Mark infringement on their best-selling sneakers- Nike Air Force 1, Air Jordan 1 and Nike Dunk. It has been alleged that BAPE’s top-selling footwear products are “near verbatim copies’ of Nike’s sneakers.
Documents further show that BAPE initially launched the ‘copied’ footwear design in 2005 in the United States and have been dedicated to launching their trade mark infringing sneakers for 15 years. Nike also stated in their application that BAPE’s shoes are causing consumer confusion, some of BAPE’s products have been regularly referred to as Air Force 1s or Dunks.
According to the lawsuit, Nike and BAPE have had discussions in 2009 to addressing the designs that has BAPE have been introducing. Subsequently this led the company to discontinue its activities in the US and close most of its stores. BAPE remodelled their sneaker design, BAPE STA, in 2016 to diminish the resemblance with Nike Air Force 1. However, then introduced their original silhouette in 2021. While both companies’ representatives have not commented on the issue yet. According to Nike, BAPE has refused to stop infringing Nike’s trade mark rights when asked, which is what sparked this legal action. As a result, Nike has requested an unspecified amount of money for damages.
If you would like to discuss protection of your brand, please get in touch with the Trademarkroom team today.