Legal Eagle: What a Shox. Nike Accuses Wal-Mart Patent Infringement

The recent trend of sneaker-related intellectual property lawsuits
continued last week when Nike Inc. accused Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of
patent infringement.

In documents filed in federal court in
Chicago on Monday, Nike said Wal-Mart has sold shoe designs that
violate its patents for its Shox line of sneakers, which feature
exposed, shock-absorbing coils in the heel. The Beaverton, Ore.-based
sportswear giant filed the Shox patents in 2004. It included sketches
from the filings in the suit in side-by-side comparisons with images of
the Wal-Mart designs in question, which also feature exposed coils in
the heel.

Nike said the infringement is intentional and
willful, and that the intent made for an “exceptional case.” It is
seeking a permanent injunction against Wal-Mart, court fees and other,
unspecified damages.

Wal-Mart did not return a call seeking comment Thursday.
Nike_shox_womens_4
         Wal_mart_shox_2

Nike Shox vs. Wal-Mart’s version

According to WWD, sneaker infringement suits have been keeping
lawyers busy lately.

In documents filed in federal court in Chicago on Monday, Nike said
Wal-Mart has sold shoe designs that violate its patents for its Shox
line of sneakers, which feature exposed, shock-absorbing coils in the
heel. Nike filed the Shox patents
in 2004. (See example above).

Late
last month, Adidas accused Target of selling shoes that
violated its three-stripe trademark. Asics served Dolce
& Gabbana
with a suit that claimed the fashion house had
infringed on its own trademark stripes. Earlier in September, Wal-Mart
settled a three-year-old infringement suit with Adidas over its sale of
sneakers and sandals bearing two parallel stripes.

The Wal-mart version is under $20 whereas the Nike Shox are over $100.

Source: WWD

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