Nike Sues Skechers and New Balance for Violating its Flyknit Patents

Nike has filed a lawsuit against Skechers and New Balance accusing both of infringing on its Flyknit Patents. The sportswear company is known for suing nearly every other rival brand, like Puma in 2018, Adidas in 2021, and Lululemon earlier this year.

This time around, Nike is not happy that competitors are eyeing its Flyknit Patent, a revolutionary technology known for its lightweight yarn intricately woven into a one-piece shoe upper. Basically, the battle is over a special type of fiber that Nike developed and uses for parts of a shoe above the sole, which covers the foot.

According to the lawsuit, it took Nike over a decade of research to develop Flyknit and help the company reduce materials waste. Nike has saved 3.5 million pounds of waste since Flyknit’s launch and diverted 182 million plastic bottles from nine landfills by switching to recycled polyester in all Nike Flyknit shoes.

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“Due to the success of Nike’s Flyknit, many of Nike’s competitors have copied and made unauthorized use of Nike’s Flyknit technologies. Nike has sent cease-and-desist letters to New Balance this year regarding Flyknit. Skechers has likewise used Nike’s Flyknit technologies without authorization.”

Nike accused New Balance of using Flyknit to sell certain footwear, including the Fresh Foam X 1080 v12, the Fresh Foam X Vongo v5, the FuelCell SuperComp Trainer, and the Tekela v4 Magia FG. Nike alleged Skechers of using Flyknit technology in its Ultra Flex 3.0, the Glide Step Sparkle, and other shoes.

New Balance rebuked the lawsuit saying Nike does not own the exclusive right to design and produce footwear by traditional manufacturing methods that have been used in the industry for decades.

SKECHERS | Sports Direct

Skechers said the lawsuit is baseless. “Many brands have been making shoes using knit uppers for years. Skechers has been designing shoes using various forms of knit uppers for close to a decade. Skechers respects the intellectual property rights of other companies and invests tremendous resources into developing its own unique styles and footwear technology.”

Skechers added this lawsuit brought by Nike is an example of how Nike uses its vast financial resources to stifle competition rather than compete in the marketplace. It believes that Nike uses its market power in an attempt to monopolize the footwear and sports apparel industries through exclusive arrangements.

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