Continuing their litigious tendencies as of late, Nike has taken Lululemon to court over patent infringement, specifically regarding Flyknit technology.
Following a string of lawsuits against independent footwear brands owned by the likes of John Geiger and Kool KIY, as well as taking streetwear legends BAPE to court over trademark infringement,Nike has taken fashion label Lululemon to court. News of the suit was first reported by Footwear News.
While primarily focusing on athleisure wear, Lululemon introduced its first sneaker offering back in 2022 to much success - the Lululemon Blissfeel. Since then, the brand has ramped up its offerings in footwear to include models like the Chargefeel Mid, Chargefeel Low, and Strongfeel. However, the silhouettes utilize knit material on the upper that Nike is claiming are infringing on its patented “Flyknit” technology. Directly quoting from the court documents which we have obtained, Nike's patents cover, among other things, "manufacturing an article of footwear with a textile element, where the textile element is simultaneously knitted with a surrounding textile structure, and the textile element has a knitted texture that differs from the knitted texture in the surrounding textile structure."
A spokesperson for Lululemon stated to FN that “Nike’s claims are unjustified, and we look forward to proving our case in court.” This isn’t the first time Nike and Lululemon have met in the courtroom, as this time last year the two began a legal battle over digital sport technologies regarding Lululemon's Mirror fitness device. On top of their past with Lululemon, Nike has also taken adidas to court over Primeknit tech and tried to argue the Three Stripes infringed on Nike's Flyknit technology.
Court filings show that Nike is seeking an undisclosed sum in damages and just like other legal battles fought by Nike, their end goal is likely to stop the production of sneakers they believe are utilizing its patented (or trademarked) technology. Speculating on The Swoosh’s recent uptick in litigious actions, the sportswear giant may be looking to prevent brands like Lululemon from taking market share away, as recent reports from Business Of Fashion indicate the growth of the footwear industry has slowed down significantly compared to prior years.
We’ll have to wait and see how things play out in the courtroom between Nike and Lululemon, so keep it locked to our Twitter and the Sole Retriever mobile app to stay updated on the case and more breaking news in the sneaker and streetwear world.