Nike Sues Sneaker Customizer Over Trademark Infringement

Seems like Nike has been in the news over lawsuits recently with the Warren Lotas lawsuit and the Lil’ Nas X and MSCHF “Satan” Air Max 97s, and on Monday the Swoosh came after sneaker customizer Drip Creationz over trademark infringement, dilution, and counterfeiting according to The Fashion Law. Custom sneakers have taken off over the last few years and this lawsuit can potentially shut down sneaker customizers entirely.

Nike filed a complaint in California federal court on Monday against Customs By Ilene, Inc., or Drip Creationz stating that Drip Creationz has been selling sneakers that are a “knockoff Air Force 1-style shoe” which Drip Creationz calls the D1, and also the poor craftmanship on their custom Air Force 1s having “crooked proportions, messy stitching, cheap details, and [are] taller than the real Air Force 1 shoes.”

Nike also claims that Drip Creationz has deconstructed Air Force 1s and replaced them with materials and designs that are unauthorized such as the Burberry check, Spongebob Squarepants, and others, can confuse consumers on whether or not the custom sneaker is a true collaboration with the Swoosh and can potentially harm the hard-earned reputation Nike has built.

Seems a bit harsh for people who’ve built careers and side hustles over sneaker customizations but Nike states that “it has no desire to limit the individual expression of creatives and artisans, many of whom are some of Nike’s biggest fans.” but says the line has to be drawn somewhere as they “cannot allow ‘customizers’ like Drip Creationz to build a business on the backs of its most iconic trademarks, undermining the value of those marks and the message they convey to consumers.”

In the lawsuit, Nike is seeking an injunction that would halt Drip Creationz from selling custom Air Force 1s as well as monetary damages. Where do you stand on this? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram if you’re siding with Nike or Drip Creationz.

Lead photo via @dripcreationz

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