Nike has initiated legal action against New Balance and Skechers, alleging patent infringement related to Nike’s innovative Flyknit technology. The lawsuit, filed in Massachusetts and Los Angeles federal courts, targets New Balance’s Fresh Foam, FuelCell, and Skechers’ Ultra Flex, and Glide Step lines, claiming violation of Nike’s patent rights.
The Technology at Stake
Nike’s Flyknit technology, known for creating high-performance sneaker uppers with reduced material waste, employs high-strength fibers to craft lightweight, supportive, and breathable shoes for running, soccer, and basketball.
Past and Present Lawsuits
This isn’t Nike’s first legal tussle over Flyknit. Prior cases against Adidas, Puma, and Lululemon reflect Nike’s determination to protect its patents. While Adidas and Puma resolved their disputes, Nike’s case against Lululemon remains ongoing.
New Balance’s Defense
New Balance contends that while respecting intellectual property rights, traditional footwear manufacturing methods, used for decades, aren’t Nike’s exclusive domain. Their statement challenges Nike’s ownership claim over standard industry practices.
The legal clash underscores the fierce competition in the footwear industry, where innovation and patents are battlegrounds for major brands seeking to protect their technological advancements and market positions.