Shoe designer John Geiger and Nike have resolved their trademark infringement battle.
According to a statement on Geiger’s social media accounts, the two parties have resolved their lawsuit via an out-of-court resolution that includes a consent judgment. As part of the deal, Geiger agreed to change the design of its GF-01 shoes, which Nike had originally flagged for trademark infringement.
“Nike respects John Geiger as a designer and other designers like him and both parties are pleased to resolve this dispute in a way that allows John Geiger to continue to build his brand while respecting the intellectual property rights of Nike on its iconic Air Force 1 trade dress,” the statement read.
FN has contacted Nike for comment.
Nike originally named Geiger as a defendant in August 2021, expanding its original claim against shoemaker La La Land Production & Design. According to the complaint, La La Land provided Geiger with sneakers similar to Nike’s Air Force 1 shoes, which violated certain elements of that product’s trade dress. Nike said Geiger’s marketing and sale of the shoes intentionally created “market confusion” and capitalized “on Nike’s reputation and the reputation of its iconic shoes”.
“I think it’s a good outcome for all parties,” said Kenneth Anand, attorney at Jayaram Law Firm representing Geiger and co-author of Sneaker Law. “I am especially proud of my team at Jayaram Law and all the hard work they have put into defending and resolving this seminal sneaker case for John Geiger against Nike. We will continue to champion the rights of creators who push the boundaries of design and its intersection with the law. »
In November, Geiger filed a motion to dismiss the trademark infringement suit, arguing that the GF-01 shoes did not constitute trademark infringement or unfair competition for Nike because consumers are unlikely to confuse these shoes. with Nike products. In the motion, Geiger’s attorney argued that his shoes lacked Nike’s iconic Swoosh and instead featured Geiger’s “G” logo.
“Ask anyone in the world how to spot a Nike, and they’ll tell you: Look for the Swoosh,” read the filing, which claimed the distinction made brand confusion unlikely.
Geiger’s attorney also disputed the allegation that Geiger violated functional product elements such as sneaker stitching, which are similar across multiple brands.
“I prepare to fight this battle for all creators and underdogs fighting the same uphill battle as I do,” Geiger wrote in a public statement on his Instagram account last August. “I have been very clear throughout the two years of development and sale of the GF-01 that this silhouette was inspired by Nike and I have also made sure that anyone purchasing the shoe knows that it is This is a designer shoe made with premium materials and quality, as well as my trademark and silhouette modifications.
Nike has not previously responded to requests for comment on the lawsuit. Over the past year, Nike has filed similar trademark infringement complaints.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in California on July 19, 2021, Nike alleged that Customs By Ilene Inc., or popular sneaker customization company Drip Creationz, was liable for trademark infringement and dilution of its products as well as the sale of counterfeit shoes claiming to be Nike products.
In March 2021, Nike filed another trademark infringement lawsuit against MSCHF, the company that created and sold a number of “Satan Shoes” in collaboration with Lil Nas X in March. The sneakers were based on the Nike Air Max 97 and were eventually recalled by MSCHF after a settlement agreement was reached in April.