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Nike Sues Lululemon Over Sneaker Technology Patents

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
Alleging patent infringement regarding its Flyknit tech, Swoosh is filing a lawsuit against Lululemon for the second time since January 2022 and just a week after doing the same against BAPE.

Just sue it?

Nike, Inc. sued athletic apparel retailer Lululemon in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York this week, alleging patent infringement regarding at least four of Swoosh’s shoes that boast its proprietary Flyknit technology. Per the complaint filed Monday in Manhattan, Nike claims it suffered economic harm due to Lululemon’s sale of its Chargefeel Mid, Chargefeel Low, Blissfeel, and Strongfeel shoes, alleging they have “infringed, and continue to infringe” on Nike’s Flyknit patents.

Nike explains that these patents focus specifically on knitted elements, webbed areas, and tubular structures on the shoes; one patent claim also addresses the footwear’s performance.

Lululemon USA Inc. denied the allegations contained in the suit, calling them “unjustified,” and that they “look forward to proving our case in court.”

Lululemon released Blissfeel in March, its first-ever women’s running shoe and first official swoop into the sneaker market.

The contentious relationship between Nike and Lulu lingers since January 2022, after Nike filed a lawsuit accusing the company of patent infringement for making and selling the Mirror Home Gym along with related mobile apps. Nike claims it invented the device which determined a runner’s speed via the interactive workout app “Mirror,” which guides users through cardio classes and other exercises.

“The patents in question are overly broad and invalid. We are confident in our position and look forward to defending it in court,” Lululemon responded at the time.

While Nike’s damage compensation is unspecified for its sneaker allegations, they’re reportedly seeking treble damages for this specific case.

This is far from Nike’s first litigation rodeo, of course. It has sued other sneaker brands in the past, namely PUMA, Adidas, and Skechers, similarly alleging patent violations. As recently as last week, the Swoosh filed a lawsuit against BAPE, alleging copyright infringement on the Nike Air Force 1, Air Jordan 1, and Nike Dunk.

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About The Author
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio is a former Staff Writer at Boardroom. Puccio has 10 years of experience in journalism and content creation, previously working for SB Nation, The Associated Press, New York Daily News, SNY, and Front Office Sports. In 2016, he received New York University's CCTOP scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from St. John's University. He can be spotted a mile away thanks to his plaid suits and thick New York accent. Don't believe us? Check his Twitter @APooch.