Shoe designer John Geiger is the latest designer to face a lawsuit from Nike, as the company accuses Geiger and La La Land Production and Design Inc. of infringing their trade dress of its Air Force 1. Geiger, a customizer-turned-designer, responded to the complaint in an Instagram post, stating that he’s “been very clear through two years of manufacturing and selling the GF-01 that Nike inspired it.” The designer also said that he “made sure that anyone purchasing the shoe is aware that it is a designer shoe crafted with higher materials and quality, along with my trademark and changes to the silhouette.”
Accusing Nike of taking inspiration from independent designers like himself, Geiger added, “I feel like Nike has been taking inspiration and benefitting off the hard work of myself and a lot of creators within the community over the past 10+ years.”
In Nike’s complaint, acquired by Complex, it states, “By marketing and selling shoes using Nike’s registered Air Force 1 trade dress, John Geiger knowingly and intentionally creates confusion in the marketplace and capitalizes on Nike’s reputation and the reputation; of its iconic shoes.”
Although this may be the first time Nike has filed a lawsuit against Geiger, It isn’t for La La Land Production & Design. In Nike’s recent suit versus Warren Lotas, the production company was named as the producer of the brand’s look-alike Dunk designs last year. While Nike’s case against La La Land remains active, it no longer includes Lotas, who settled with Nike last December.
La La Land has responded to Nike’s suit by filing an amended counterclaim. The claim accuses the company of using “unduly aggressive, disproportionate, highly burdensome litigation strategies” to enforce “questionable” trade dress rights.
Read Geiger’s full statement below.