Beaverton-base Nike continues its 2020 string of lawsuits aimed at companies whose business model is built on mass producing customized Nike shoes or shoes that except for changes to logos are copies of their silhouettes. Following a series of suits against Warren Lotus and MSCHF and winning trademark protection for its Air Jordan 1 silhouette, Nike filed a complaint against sneaker customizer Drip Creationz in federal court on Monday (July 19, 2021).
According to The Fashion Law, Nike’s suit alleges the brand has infringed on its trademark and is so doing has diluted the brand. Nike also the company of using counterfeit Air Force 1 sneakers, not that many of the shoes feature “crooked proportions, messy stitching, cheap details, and [are] taller than the real Air Force 1 shoes.”
Specializing in customized Air Force 1s, Drip Creationz site offers the classic white sneakers in 11 different design categories. Offered in full size runs, the shoes are often detailed with artists with no association with the brand or Nike. Musicians airbrushed on the artist series of sneakers included Ariana Grande, Olivia Rodrigo and Post Malone among others.
Addressing ongoing concerns that Nike may take on the community of individuals and small businesses known for customizing the brand’s shoes, the court document noted, “[Nike] has no desire to limit the individual expression of creatives and artisans, many of whom are some of Nike’s biggest fans.” The complaint added that Nike “cannot allow ‘customizers’ like Drip Creationz to build a business on the backs of its most iconic trademarks, undermining the value of those marks and the message they convey to consumers.”