Nike, Adidas settle patent fights over shoe technology

People walk past a closed store of the sporting goods retailer Nike at a shopping mall in Saint Petersburg, Russia May 25, 2022. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
  • Nike alleged Adidas shoes violated lightweight shoe patents
  • Adidas responded that Nike infringed mobile-app patents

(Reuters) - Nike Inc and Adidas AG, the world's two leading sneaker brands, have resolved a series of U.S. patent disputes over technology used in their athletic shoes, court filings show.

Nike sued Adidas in Oregon and at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in December, alleging several Adidas shoe designs infringe patents related to Nike's lightweight Flyknit technology. The ITC began an investigation of Adidas' shoes based on the complaint in January.

Adidas filed its own lawsuit in East Texas in June, arguing Nike's Adapt shoe-fitting technology, Run Club and Training Club exercise apps, and SNKRS app for limited-edition shoe sales all violate its patents.

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The companies jointly asked the Oregon court to dismiss Nike's lawsuit on Tuesday, and asked the Texas court and ITC to drop their cases on Thursday.

All of the filings said the dispute had been settled. Details of the settlement were not immediately available, and the companies and their attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Nike previously sued Adidas in East Texas in 2005, alleging several Adidas shoes violated two patents related to shoe design. The companies agreed to drop that case in 2007.

Adidas also lost a challenge to the validity of two Nike Flyknit patents at a U.S. appeals court in 2020.

The cases are In the Matter of Certain Knitted Footwear, No. 337-TA-1289, U.S. International Trade Commission; Nike Inc v. Adidas AG, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, No. 3:21-cv-01780; and Adidas AG v. Nike Inc, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, No. 2:22-cv-00198.

For Nike: Christopher Renk of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

For Adidas: Mitchell Stockwell and Matias Ferrario of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

Read more:

Nike asks U.S. agency to block Adidas shoe imports, citing patents

Adidas sues Nike over run-tracking, shoe-adjusting technologies

Nike prevails in shoe patent dispute with Adidas

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com