October 16, 2020: Designer Warren Lotas has responded to news he’s been sued by Nike for designing and selling a shoe that is “confusingly similar” to the brand’s Dunk sneaker.
On Instagram Stories he posted a note promising that all pairs would be fulfilled as promised. He added, “We are currently investigating the claims made against us and will do what it takes to remedy the situation amicably. We are in the midst of a historic moment, something that will make these shoes feel like you’re wearing a trophy for small business, rather than a source of controversy.”
Pushing back on criticism that his Dunk look-a-like shoe was solely fueled by greed, he wrote, “Somewhere along the way, the community’s perception of me and my work changed…every drop was written of as a cash grab and no would could see or believe the fun I actually had as thing got bigger.”
Highlighting what his u against, he added, “Of course, this is what anyone would probably say when backed into a corner by a massive company that they’ve grown up with and respect…but it is what I believe.”
Concluding a series of three notes he wrote, “I firmly believe my intentions have been misconstrued. If you’ve followed my company since the incption, I have always created things that didn’t exist in the marketplace, big or small. My shoe is something I’ve always wanted to see in my personal footwear rotation and to share with my small cult following.”
Read the original story below.
The sneaker community has been buzzing for weeks over Los Angeles-based designer Warren Lotas repeated sales of a sneaker silhouette that’s almost an exact copy of Nike‘s Dunk sneaker. The main difference between Nike and Lotas’ version of the shoe is the Swoosh, which is slightly modified at its face with a silhouette of Friday the 13th’s Jason Vorhees. Lotas initially described the shoe as a Dunk, but swapped out the language after the first shoe.
Nike has signaled it’s had enough with news it filed a trademark lawsuit on Wednesday (October 14, 2020) in Los Angeles federal court. In the complaint, Lotas is accused of selling a shoe that is “confusingly similar” to the Dunk sneaker, and is adorned with a near-copy of Nike’s Swoosh design.
According to Los Angeles Daily News, Nike is seeking to have a Los Angeles federal judge order an immediate stop to Lotas’ manufacture and sale of its Dunk look-a-like sneakers, plus three times damages incurred, profits from sales of the shoes and reimbursement of lawsuit and attorney fees. Nike is also demanding Lotas turn over “shoes, apparel, digital files, packaging, printed graphics, promotional materials, business cards, signs, labels, advertisements, flyers, circulars” and all other items related to the making and marketing of the silhouette.
The complaint reads, “Warren Lotas only recently announced these sneakers, but there is already confusion in the marketplace regarding whether they are legitimate customizations or illegal fakes. Warren Lotas intentionally created the confusion, and he is attempting to capitalize on it, by, among other things, using Nike’s registered Dunk word mark, using Nike’s registered Dunk trade dress, and using a mark that is confusingly similar to Nike’s famous Swoosh design to promote and sell his fakes.”
The lawsuit adds, “As a direct and proximate result of WL’s wrongful acts, Nike has suffered, continues to suffer, and/or is likely to suffer damage to its trademarks, business reputation, and goodwill that money cannot compensate. Unless restrained, WL will continue to use the Swoosh design mark and/or confusingly similar marks, and will cause irreparable damage to Nike for which Nike has no adequate remedy at law.”
Lotas has created Dunk-inspired sneakers in four different colorways (Jason, Stüss, Toxic Green and Pigeon Staple) inspired by popular versions of the Nike’s Dunk SB.
Lotas’ recent collaboration with designer Jeff Staple was especially controversial because Nike’s Dunk SB made in collaboration with Staple in 2005 has long been viewed as a legendary shoe within sneaker culture.
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OFFICIAL @STAPLEPIGEON X WL REINTERPRETED OG SHOES ARE GONE – Thank you Jeff and Billy for giving me an opportunity to be a part of your legacy. Love me or hate me, I’m glad we can include so many more people in this moment. An official reinterpretation of a fucking CLASSIC! – PLEASE READ: We will leave the sneakers up for 15 MINUTES WITHOUT A SET QUANTITY. We want this shoe to be accessible to EVERYONE. EVERYONE THAT WANTS A PAIR WILL GET A PAIR. – THIS IS A PRE-ORDER THAT WILL TAKE 3-4 MONTHS TO PRODUCE. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS BEFORE YOU PURCHASE. IT IS A PRE-ORDER. THIS IS A WARREN LOTAS SHOE, IT IS PRODUCED FROM SCRATCH BY ME. PLEASE KNOW THAT. NO ALIBABA BULLSHIT. ITALIAN MATERIALS.