business Nike Under Fire For Allegedly Bullying Smaller Brands Some of the brand's targets are beginning to fight back. Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images
News that is entertaining to read Subscribe for free to get more stories like this directly to your inbox

Footwear brand Nike is the subject of the upcoming movie “Air,” but recent developments are giving the company some attention executives probably don’t want.

Like lightning

Nike is known internationally for its “swoosh” design, and it has repeatedly shown a willingness to protect that trademark element at all costs. Most recently, the firm sued a much smaller company — By Kiy LLC — for using a design that Nike thinks is too close to its own. Nike also took similar action against a company called Omi.

But By Kiy is not taking the challenge lying down. This week, the company filed a countersuit explaining why it doesn’t think Nike has any room to complain.

Here are the main arguments:

  • By Kiy says its shoes are “a different type of product” than Nike’s athletic footwear.
  • Its lightning bolt design doesn’t share any elements of Nike’s patented “swoosh.”
  • The shoes are sold via different outlets and for a different price than Nike products.

In its complaint, By Kiy wrote: “There is no conceivable way that any reasonable consumer would think he or she is buying Nike products when the consumer buys a By Kiy product, whether in the primary or secondary sales market. Nike has presented zero pleading or evidence to the contrary.”

Other issues

Designer John Geiger was successful in forcing Nike to withdraw its trademark infringement complaint in August against his footwear.

The mega-corporation is also facing a legal challenge from NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who claims that Nike “failed to live up to its promises and refuses to abide by its contract.”

He claimed in November that Nike, a company he has been associated with for nearly a decade, was “wilfully withholding millions of dollars” and wants a judgment in his favor of more than $20 million.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee February 17th, 2023
Share this story: