Nike and Converse Crack Down on Alleged Counterfeiters in Major New Lawsuit

More from Footwear News

The Swoosh is cracking down on websites and other platforms trying to replicate its iconic designs.

Nike and Converse last week filed a lawsuit against more than 100 defendants alleging the “intentional, unauthorized and unlawful use” of Nike Inc.’s trademarks via the advertising and sale of counterfeit goods.

In the suit, which was filed in a court in the Southern District of New York last week, Nike and Converse claimed that they identified 98 websites and 267 social media handles that had advertised or offered to sell counterfeit Nike or Converse products to U.S. consumers in the last twelve months.

“The defendants, who have no affiliation with Nike or Converse, have attempted to capitalize on the popularity of the Plaintiffs’ Marks by manufacturing and marketing counterfeit products falsely labeled as “Nike” or “Converse,” read the suit, which added that Nike investigators purchased products from some of these sites in order to confirm that they were fake. Examples of alleged infringing marks include the Nike Swoosh on the side of its footwear as well as the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star logo trademark.

According to the suit, most of the defendants are believed to reside or operate from the People’s Republic of China, Malaysia and other foreign jurisdictions.

FN has reached out to Nike for a comment.

The suit represents another decisive action being taken by a sneaker brand or marketplaces in light of increased counterfeit activity. Earlier this month, StockX revealed in its 2024 “Verification Report” that its verification experts have turned away more than $600 million worth of products across all categories that failed to meet its authentication requirements since its launch in 2016. Sneakers that were suspected to be fake accounted for about 13 percent – or $80 million – of that total. To ramp up counterfeit prevention options, StockX has integrated new technology like RFID scanning and machine learning models.

For its part, Nike has also come after alleged counterfeiters in the past. In December, the company filed a lawsuit in a Florida District Court claiming that sneaker reseller Eben Fox, who goes by Cedaz, “brazenly promotes and sells counterfeit Nike goods on his various social media channels and apparently believes he can engage in this illegal conduct with impunity.”

And Nike’s lawsuit against StockX, which originated in early 2022 with accusations that the resale platform used logos and products trademarked by Nike to sell NFTs, was later expanded with claims alleging StockX had willingly sold counterfeit products and misrepresented its authentication services.

Best of Footwear News

Sign up for FN's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.