Nike puts the boot into Adidas after sole dispute

The US sportswear giant, which is under new leadership after last month's boardroom coup, is seeking millions of dollars in compensation from Adidas for ripping off designs that make its trainers look like they are balanced on little springs.

Nike said 19 separate patents protected the "technical column design features" of its Shox system, which it claims appear in several of Adidas's shoes, including a new range of trainers endorsed by the basketball star Kevin Garnett. "Despite Nike's patent protection, Adidas has built shoes that use Nike's technology," the Oregon-based company said. Adidas has dubbed its version of the design the "a3 cushioning system".

The lawsuit, filed in Texas, wants Adidas to pay damages and cover Nike's legal costs. It also seeks to stop Adidas producing any more shoes using its cushioning system. Eric Sprunk, Nike's vice president of global footwear, said the group sunk considerable investment into coming up with "performance products". The Shox system, which hit the market in 2000, took 16 years to design and "considerable financial investment" he said, adding: "It is frustrating and inappropriate when companies borrow or refashion such technologies as their own without making similar investment."

Adidas said it had received confirmation of the lawsuit and was examining the detail with its legal advisers. It declined to comment further.

If Adidas is found guilty it will be a big blow for the German company, which uses cushioning systems Nike claims infringe its patents in its most expensive men's shoe, its $250 (£144) running shoe. Adidas is desperate to close the gap with its bigger rival, last month sealing a $3.8bn deal to acquire Reebok, the former US No 2. With 28 per cent of the global athletic shoe market, Adidas is within a whisker of Nike's 31 per cent.

Nike said it has served complaints against two other companies, Air Max Import and Export Inc. and Romeo and Juliette, for allegedly infringing on its intellectual property and patents.

Mark Parker took the helm of Nike last month after Phil Knight, its founding chairman, put pressure on William Perez to quit after just 13 months as chief executive.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
Sport
footballLive: All the latest from today's Premier League matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee