Nike is suing Japanese brand BAPE for blatantly stealing some of its most iconic sneaker designs.
According to court records from the footwear giant, BAPE is accused of being a “copyist whose infringements have recently grown to become a significant danger to Nike’s rights.” The Oregon-based brand also claimed the Japanese label’s “current footwear business revolves around copying Nike’s iconic designs.”
The sneakers in question include the BAPE STA for its similarities to the Air Force 1 Low; the BAPE STA Mid for the Air Force 1 Mid; the SK8 STA for the Dunk Low; the COURT STA High for the Air Jordan 1 High; and COURT STA for the Air Jordan 1 Low.
The complaint further states that BAPE started selling its plagiarized footwear in the United States in 2005 and has since kept selling these trademark-infringing sneakers.
The company noted that “BAPE’s copying is and always has been unacceptable to Nike, and because BAPE’s infringements have recently grown to become a significant danger to Nike’s rights, Nike must act now.”
Since some of the BAPE shoes are frequently referred to as Air Force 1s or Dunks among secondary market vendors, the complaint claims that the styles are confusing buyers.
Nike claims that BAPE “refused” when Nike “asked it to stop” after notifying the Japanese label of its infringements.
Wow… Nike just sued Bape 👀 Filed 1/25/2023 #nike #bape #lawsuit #TM #AF1 #AJ1 pic.twitter.com/44BW5twr1M
— Sneaker & Streetwear Legal Services℠ (@SneakerLegal) January 26, 2023