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Nike sues websites over alleged fakes

The company is requesting significant court action over online sales of alleged knock-offs.

Image © Elliot Westacott |

US sportswear giant Nike is said to be taking legal action against 589 websites, 676 social media accounts and more than 100 unidentified companies and individuals for allegedly offering counterfeit versions of Nike- and Converse-branded shoes online.

Reports on the case suggest that Nike’s lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, states that its trademarks ‘are among the most widely recognised trademarks in the United States and around the world, as well as among the most popular with consumers’.

It adds that ‘the defendants… have attempted to capitalise on the popularity of [the] plaintiffs’ marks by manufacturing and marketing counterfeit products falsely labelled as ‘Nike’ or ‘Converse’. The companies being sued reportedly represent more than 40 counterfeiting networks that sell bootleg versions of Nike and Converse products. While probing into the alleged crimes, investigators purchased a number of fake styles, including Air Jordans and Nike Shox Gravity women’s sneakers.

The defendants have been accused of nine counts of trademark counterfeiting, cyberpiracy and infringement, as well as other illegal actions under federal and New York State laws. Nike is asking the court to order the manufacture and sale of counterfeit Nike and Converse products to be halted, and all existing fakes, marketing materials and packaging to be destroyed.

In addition, the company is said to be requesting damages equal to three times any profits from illegal sales or up to a statutory maximum of $2 million for each and every Nike and Converse trademarked type of good that the defendants are alleged to have wilfully counterfeited, offered for sale or distributed. Punitive damages, reimbursement of lawyer fees and statutory damages of $100,000 per alleged infringing domain name are also being sought.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 3 of the February 2021 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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