Nike has sued Japanese footwear brand Bape for trademark infringement and accused it of building a business that revolves around copying its designs.
The sportswear giant drew comparisons between the styles of its Air Force 1, the Dunk, and two Air Jordan 1 and Bape sneakers such as Sta, Sk8 Sta, and Court Sta in its court filing.
Nike noted that Bape’s “infringements have recently grown to become a significant danger to Nike’s rights,” pointing to the long history of Bape allegedly copying Nike’s designs all the way back to 2005. The company also alleged that Bape has recently “drastically increased the volume and scope of its infringement.”
“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 said.
“Nike notified Bape of its infringements and asked it to stop. Bape refused to do so. Instead, Bape continues to escalate its infringing activity. Nike, therefore, is forced to bring this lawsuit to stop Bape’s unauthorized use of Nike’s trademarks.”
The company is calling on Bape to stop the manufacturing, advertising, and sales of any products that are indistinguishable from Nike’s designs and not to take any further actions that could dilute Nike’s reputation.