Counterfeit Products

Nike Sues for Trademark Infringement, Citing Sneaker Piracy

The complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court in New York on November 30, accuses Bill Omar Carrasquillo (“Omi”) and By Kiy LLC (“Kiy”) of promoting and selling fake Nike sneakers in various color combinations. According to the plaintiff, their activities amount to trademark infringement, unfair competition, false designation of origin and trademark dilution, significantly damaging Nike’s world-famous brand.

According to Nike representatives, these counterfeit products confuse their consumers. Despite sending an infringement notice, attempts to resolve the issue were not successful, and the lawsuit states that the defendants continue to profit from the theft of Nike’s designs.

The footwear powerhouse also alleges that other actors in the supply chain bear responsibility for the infringement, as they help the pirates sell directly to consumers. Xiamen Wandering Planet Import and Export Co., based in China, was added to the lawsuit, for their part in manufacturing, distribution, sourcing and selling.

Court documents state that Nike seeks statutory damage compensation of triple the amount of compensatory damages. The order also demands an account of earned profits from the sale of the pirated sneakers.

One of the defendants responded to Nike’s lawsuit by posting a photo on social media that shows a Reebok sneaker that’s similar to Nike’s Air Jordan 1, asking why they weren’t going after Reebok.

This most recent legal action is another attempt by Nike to protect its valuable trademarks. Nike resolved an infringement fight with shoe designer John Geiger back in August. Also in August, Nike settled various patent disputes with Adidas, when the two companies were at odds over sneaker technology.

Footwear News – 7 December 2022 – Stephen Garner

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