US footwear brand Skechers has issued a public response to a federal lawsuit filed by competitor Nike, stating the company believes the lawsuit is "baseless."
Earlier this month, sportswear giant Nike filed a patent lawsuit against Skechers in California's federal court for allegedly violating its Flyknit patents. Nike's Flyknit shoes feature a one-piece upper crafted from lightweight yarn woven together.
Today, Skechers USA Inc. announced that it will " vigorously defend the patent suit filed against" them. According to a spokesperson for Skechers, the lawsuit is "baseless" as many brands have been producing footwear using upper knits for years.
A spokesperson for Skechers said in a statement: "Skechers has been designing shoes using various forms of knit uppers for close to a decade. Skechers respects the intellectual property rights of other companies and invests tremendous resources into developing its own unique styles and footwear technology rather than preying on the rights of others."
In the statement, Skechers outlined the company's belief that the lawsuit is a way Nike is using its "vast financial resources" to suppress competition instead of competing in the consumer marketplace.
"Skechers also believes that Nike uses its market power in an attempt to monopolize the footwear and sports apparel industries through exclusive arrangements, which, as a practical matter, forecloses viable and meaningful competition for high-profile athletic sponsorships," added Skechers spokesperson in the statement.
The US footwear brand also explicitly expressed its beliefs that the company will be "completely vindicated" and that Skechers is keen to face Nike in court.
In the lawsuit filed on November 6 in Los Angeles, Nike claimed that several of Skechers footwear designs, such as Ultra Flex and Glide Step, had violated its Flyknit patents. Nike is said to be seeking monetary compensation and court orders to prevent Skechers from further infringement.
In addition to its lawsuit against Skechers, Nike also filed a lawsuit against New Balance, in Massachusetts federal court, claiming that New Balance's Fresh Foam, FuelCell, and other styles infringed on its patent rights.
The US sportswear giant has a history of litigation with the aim of protecting its Flyknit patents, having previously filed suits against Adidas and Puma over comparable patent issues, leading to settlements. In early 2023, Lululemon became the latest target of a Nike Flyknit lawsuit, a case that is still ongoing.