Image via Rowan Patrick Photos / Shutterstock.com
At the start of June, Nike was awarded the trademark and patent on its signature Air Jordan 1 design, aiding the sportswear giant in its battle against bootleg replicas.
Despite releasing the first Michael Jordan-inspired sneakers in 1985, the brand only secured the design’s patent 36 years later.
Now, Nike’s newly-awarded patent is coming under fire from bootleggers, customizers, and creatives. According to Input, New York City attorney Robert Lopez filed a countersuit against Nike, alleging the brand had committed fraud in its trademark filing.
Lopez’s suit highlights an issue of Nike trademarking the Air Jordan 1 design without its iconic Swoosh.
While Nike could argue the sneaker’s silhouette is recognizable even without the distinct motif, Lopez’s complaint takes issue with the omission as the brand has never released a pair without the Swoosh. Hence, it argues Nike’s trademark was “improperly issued.”
“Nike, Inc. is attempting to secure an IP portfolio of unregistrable or improperly registered marks so that it can implement its enforcement actions against small and independent clothing store owners to gain a strong hold and monopoly over the sneaker and apparel industry,” the suit reads, as per Input.
It’s still unclear if Lopez’s countersuit has enough legs to cause concern for Nike, though it’s admirable to see small businesses hit back at giant brands in an attempt to protect their creative freedom.[via Input, cover image via Rowan Patrick Photos / Shutterstock.com]
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