Shoemaker Skechers has branded Nike’s latest infringement suit against it as ‘bullying’ in a statement on Twitter.
Published on October 14, the statement comes shortly after Nike filed a complaint against the California-based company on September 30 at the US District Court for the Central District of California.
In its filing, Nike alleged that “instead of innovating its own designs and technologies”, Skechers was in the habit of copying “successful products of others”, and that the shoemaker’s designs had infringed 12 of Nike’s design patents.
The design patents cover Nike’s Air Max 270 and VaporMax shoes.
According to Nike’s complaint, an “ordinary observer” would consider Skechers’ shoes to be “substantially the same” as the Nike shoes covered by the design patents-in-suit.
But, Skechers denied the claims of the lawsuit, and said it “merely contains Nike’s unproven allegations”.
“We are hearing reports that Nike may be notifying some of our retail partners that styles from the Skechers series (Skech Air 92, Skech Air Stratisa, Skechers Skech Air Blast, Skech Air Atlas) infringe certain Nike design patents,” Skechers’ Twitter post said.
Skechers assured its retail partners that it stands “100% behind all of our product offerings … and would of course defend your company if Nike tries to bully you too”.
Skechers said it plans on defending the lawsuit vigorously and in response will deny that any of the listed styles infringe any of Nike’s patents.
Additionally, it called out its “much larger competitor” for using its “vast resources to stifle competition in the courtroom rather than compete in the marketplace”.
“Indeed, Skechers has been down this road with Nike before, and Nike does not always prevail,” Skechers added, before recounting an earlier case in which the US International Trade Commission ruled in its favour, finding that its “Twinkle Toes” shoe style did not infringe Nike’s IP.