Nike and adidas are headed back to court over knit technologies. The legal squabbles started back in 2012 when Nike first unveiled Flyknit and adidas followed with Primeknit a few months later. As The Fashion Law reports, adidas pitched Primeknit sneakers as a ‘first of its kind’ design, which Nike responded to with a patent infringement lawsuit. Nike won the suit and adidas were ordered to cease selling Primeknit tech. However, the Stripes then moved to challenge the originality of Flyknit based on a similar patent from 1991, which allegedly rendered Nike’s claim void.
adidas lost the suit, but won another one by claiming that technology needed to make knitted sneakers has been available since the 1940s; the go-ahead was given to continue producing Primeknit. You’d think that would have been good enough for the Three Stripes, but no — they’ve gone after Nike again. The brand filed an appeal in federal court to strip Nike of their Flyknit patent. It’s not clear what the end game is here — both parties have done exceptionally well off their respective techs — but Nike losing claim to their beloved Flyknit would be a heavy blow to brand image and a whole lot else. Stay tuned.
Read our history of Flyknit technology here