Bape Agrees to Discontinue Some Sneaker Models Following Nike Trademark Lawsuit Settlement

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Nike has settled its trademark infringement lawsuit against Japanese streetwear brand Bape.

According to a stipulated dismissal filed in New York’s Southern District Court on April 29, Nike and Bape said that they have entered into a settlement agreement in resolution of their year-long legal battle over look-alike shoe designs first filed in January 2023.

As part of the settlement, Bape has agreed to discontinue its Bape Sta Mid, Court Sta, and Court Sta High sneakers, and modify the designs of its Bape Sta and Sk8 Sta sneaker models.

This settlement comes after a New York federal judge denied Bape’s request in March to dismiss the trademark lawsuit Nike has mounted against the Japanese brand for over a year.

Bape first issued the motion to dismiss on May 17, 2023. In the motion, Bape argued that the case be dismissed because Nike had not described in detail what it had already proven to the U.S. Trademark Office, namely which elements of its iconic styles are distinctive and how they are distinctive.

But ultimately, the court explained that Nike’s certificates of registration articulate Nike’s asserted trade dress as it contains “detailed written descriptions as well as diagrams that specifically denote which part of the trade dress are being claimed as distinctive.”

Now, the next move in the case is a pretrial conference between both parties on March 14.

Originally reported on Jan. 26, 2023.

Nike is accusing footwear brand Bape of copying some of its sneaker designs in a new trademark infringement lawsuit filed Wednesday in a New York District Court.

In the complaint, Nike called out five specific specific designs — the BAPE STA, BAPE STA Mid, SK8 STA, COURT STA High, and COURT STA — and said they “are near verbatim copies” of Nike’s Air Force 1, Air Jordan 1 and Dunk silhouettes.

“Bape’s current footwear business revolves around copying Nike’s iconic designs,” read the complaint.

Nike said that while Bape introduced its first infringing footwear to the U.S. in 2005, it became a real threat to Nike after 2021, when the brand increased the “scope of its infringement.” Nike also noted that both brands sell in similar channels to the same consumers.

“Bape’s copying is and always has been unacceptable to Nike, and because Bape’s infringements have recently grown to become a significant danger to Nike’s rights, Nike must act now,” the complaint read.

FN has reached out to Nike and Bape for a comment.

A Bathing Ape was started in Japan in 1993 by Tomoaki Nagao, who is more commonly known as Nigo. The brand expanded into the U.S. about 10 years later in the the mid-2000s, according to the suit.

Nike is requesting a court order to halt Bape’s selling of the accused designs and for an unspecified dollar amount in damages.

This lawsuit is the latest legal action Nike has taken to protect its trademarks. In December, Nike filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Nickwon Arvinger and David Weeks of By Kiy LLC (known as “Kiy”), as well as Bill Omar Carrasquillo (known as “Omi”) of Reloaded Merch LLC, accusing them of knocking off its Air Jordan 1 and Dunk sneaker styles.

Last August, footwear designer John Geiger and Nike resolved their trademark infringement battle. That same month, Nike and Adidas settled a series of U.S. patent disputes over sneaker technology.

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