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Nike Sues BAPE for Copyright Infringement

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
From the history to the designs, everything you need to know about the Nike BAPE lawsuit.

Nike is taking action against BAPE for allegedly replicating some of its iconic designs. The Swoosh officially filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in a Manhattan federal court against the Japanese shoe maker, alleging copyright infringement on the Nike Air Force 1, Air Jordan 1, and Nike Dunk, according to Reuters. The company also states “BAPE’s current footwear business revolves around copying Nike’s iconic designs.”

Short for A Bathing Ape and based in Hong Kong, BAPE began selling its flagship sneakers stateside in the mid-2000s. For context, Nike was founded on Jan. 25, 1964 as “Blue Ribbon Sports” by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight. It officially became what we know as Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1971.

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The Nike BAPE lawsuit also asserts BAPE’s design results in confusion for potential consumers. Seeing that BAPE has been dropping its signature silhouettes at a rapid pace the last couple years, it seems like Nike wants to put an end to the imitations before things got too out of hand.

“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,” Nike’s legal team added.

Nike is asking the court to prohibit BAPE from selling the shoes with the questionable designs and demanded an undisclosed amount of financial compensation. Neither side has released statements since the case was filed.

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About The Author
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. She began her career in sports journalism with bylines at SB Nation, USA Today, and most recently Yahoo. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Truman State University, and when she's not watching old clips of Serena Williams' best matches, she is likely perfecting her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe or preparing a traditional Cameroonian meal.