Nike Sues Bape, Protecting Their Most Iconic Shoes

Nike has put their foot down against Japanese streetwear giant, A Bathing Ape. The Swoosh filed a federal lawsuit to protect some of their most iconic silhouettes, alleging that Bape copied them. Reuters broke the news that Nike claimed trademark infringement on the Nike Air Force 1, Nike Dunk, and Air Jordan 1. The lawsuit even makes a bold claim against A Bathing Ape. Nike stated, "BAPE's current footwear business revolves around copying Nike's iconic designs." Nike backs this claim by stating that the BAPE STA, BAPE STA Mid, SK8 STA, COURT STA, and COURT STA High are "near verbatim copies" of Nike's earlier-mentioned shoes. These five BAPE sneakers are some of their best-selling footwear products.
Image Via: US District Court
Bape's primary culprit, the BAPE STA, has been in existence since 2005. Nike claims that they have been aware of the infringing sneaker for quite some time. They noted that the Japanese brand's sales have been "sporadic" in the US until 2021. At that time, according to Nike, BAPE "drastically increased the volume and scope of its infringement." The Swoosh made it apparent why they waited so long to act against BAPE. The lawsuit states, "BAPE’s copying is and always has been unacceptable to Nike, and because BAPE’s infringements have recently grown to become a significant danger to Nike’s rights, Nike must act now.” Both companies have been quiet since the suit was introduced. Nike is aiming to prevent BAPE from selling any of their offending shoes and pay an unspecified amount in damages.
Cover Photo By: Evan Williams

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