Nike sues Puma for copying Flyknit shoe
Nike has sued Puma in federal court, accusing Puma North America of copying its patented Flyknit, Air and cleat technical assembly methods.
The complaint alleges that Puma "has forgone independent innovation and is instead using Nike’s technologies without permission."
Nike filed in Massachusetts federal court because Puma North America is based in Westford, MA. According to the lawsuit, Nike launched its Flyknit line in 2012. Three years later, in 2015, Puma began making its Ignite line, which Nike claims stole technology from four registered Nike patents.
Nike also claims Puma ripped off its patented Air model which it registered in 2008. Nike alleges Puma's Jamming shoe from 2017 is a copy of the Air model, arguing that it too is "an article of footwear comprising: a sole structure incorporating a fluid-filled bladder and a reinforcing structure secured to the bladder."
Nike's allegations also state that Puma infringed on two patents for cleat assembly, which is designed to provide more support and reduce fatigue. Nike is seeking a permanent injunction to stop Puma from continuing with its infringement, as well as damages.
Puma is prepared to fight the lawsuit, claiming there is no infringement. A Puma spokesperson issued a statement, saying "we will do everything to defend ourselves against these accusations."
As Nike continues to make headlines for workplace impropriety, the Oregon-based company's lawsuit is indicative of how vigilant it will have to be to maintain its place as the top athletic brand in a rising sea of competitors.
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