The rivalry between Nike and Adidas has just escalated into the courts. Adidas has filed suit against Nike claiming that the company has infringed upon nine of its patents pertaining to mobile applications and smart technology. According to the suit, which was filed Friday in an East Texas Federal Court, Nike has run afoul with its SNKRS, Run Club, Training Club, and other apps as well as its Adapt self-lacing technology.
Taking the stand — Adidas’s patents include its “intelligent footwear” system and other tech used for the Adidas_1 smart sneaker and sneaker app Confirmed, according to a report from Reuters. Adidas claims it’s responsible for the “world’s first intelligent running shoe” from 2005 — which featured the “first fully integrated training system combining sensors in shoes and wearable devices” — as well as mobile fitness and sneaker reservation technology.
Although Nike first revealed the self-lacing Back to the Future Nike Mag sneaker in 2016, it wasn’t until 2019 Adapt was rolled out to the wider public. Adidas believes this development infringed upon its Adidas_1 sneaker. Specifically, Adidas takes issue with technology helping the shoe to mold to a wearer’s foot.
Adidas has also accused the Swoosh of violating patents on location-based run tracking, audio feedback of performance, and a training plan system. As for the sneaker reservation system, Adidas claims Nike’s SNRKS app, which was announced just days after Adidas’s similar Confirmed app in 2015, infringes a patent related to “confirming a potential buyer’s authenticity.”
Can you wear sneakers to court? — Although this is the first time Adidas has taken Nike to court, the same can’t be said for the converse. Nike sued Adidas in 2005, accusing the German brand of violating two of its sneaker design patents, though the lawsuit was dropped in 2007. Nike also filed complaints in December 2021, stating Adidas’s Primeknit was an infringement on its patented Flyknit material.
Nike is also engaged in its own lawsuit against StockX, which has escalated from arguments over intellectual property rights for NFTs to include accusations of counterfeiting. As for the most recent lawsuit, Adidas is demanding an “unspecified amount of money” as well as an order preventing Nike from infringing upon Adidas’s patents in the future. The undetermined amount should be “sufficient,” according to the documents, but “not less than a reasonable royalty, together with interests and costs.”