Los Angeles-based designer Warren Lotas is ready to push back on Nike. In response to the sport giant extending its complaint, stating that Lotas’ replacement shoes are still too similar to the Nike Dunk they were inspired by, Lotas countersued the athletic giant.
In his complaint (below), Lotas’ lawyer opens the argument by pointing out Nike has been aware or should have been aware that the designer has been drafting off of Nike silhouettes since 2017, a delay in acting that lead Lotas to believe his products had Nike’s tacit approval.
The countersuit also noted that his Warren Lotas Staple Pigeon OG shoe was made in collaboration with Jeff Staple who authorized use of the colorway, logo, design of the shoe and sole.
Lotas’ rep argue that the elements Nike is suing him for, leather panels on the upper, exterior stitching, the ridge pattern on the sole of the shoe, are all utilitarian choices and thus aren’t protected by trade dress laws. In the counterclaim , Lotas also demand Nike pay his lawyer fees.
Warren Lotas Counterclaim against Nike— sockjig (@sockjig) November 5, 2020
The dunk stitching, panels, vertical ridge pattern on outsole all have utilitarian functionality and shouldn’t be trademarked and they’re asking the court to invalidate Nike’s trade dress registrations.
And Nike should pay WL’s lawyer fees pic.twitter.com/lnOCeDhrIm
Announcing the countersuit Instagram Stories today, Lotas wrote, “We have counter sued Nike. We are asking the court to cancel and invalidate their supposed trade dress rights in the Dunk shoe and sole.”
Addressing the portion of Nike’s suit accusing him of withholding request for refunds on his Dunk look-a-like shoes he’s barred from manufacturing , Lotas wrote on Instagram Live, “We are actively processing refunds. You will get an email once the refund goes through. Refunds take 3-10 days to return to your original purchase method.”
He also noted despite Nike’s pushback on the legality of his Warren Lotas Reaper sneakers, he attends to manufacture the shoe. On Instagram Stories he added, “I intend to deliver the WL Reaper. There has been absolutely no ruling by the court to not deliver them, therefore everything will move forward as planned.”
Check out Lotas’ Instagram Stories below.