How (Not) to Get Sued by Nike


Take shelter, sneakerheads: Nike are coming for us like the Terminator T-1000. Customisers, collectors, retailers and brands are burying their sneakers in shallow graves before they get scythed by the Swoosh. Already in 2023, Nike have BAPE and Lululemon in the crosshairs.

Yes, the legal muscle is filing more paperwork than Waystar Royco, so it’s time to protect ourselves. Make sure to carefully read our stringent guidelines before we all end up in the can, trading our knockoff sneakers for a ciggie and half a bar of soap.

lil nas x nike air max 97 satan shoe
image via @mschf

Do Not Inject Your Air Units With Blood or Any Other Bodily Fluids

Do not inject your Air units with blood, urine, or any other bodily fluid that will compromise the integrity of the silhouette. Contaminating any of Nike’s proprietary Air technology will result in eternal damnation (you will be banished from the SNKRS app).

trophy room x air jordan 1
image via @trophyroomstore

Do Not Open Your Backdoor Unless Explicitly Advised to Do So

Do not open your backdoor unless expressly required to do so by Nike or are the direct offspring of His Airness. Stringent, weekly DNA tests will be required for any retail outlet claiming genealogical coherence.

Anyone falsely claiming a blood relation to His Airness or any other Jordan Brand athlete will be forced to attend Charlotte Hornets games for three consecutive NBA seasons.

Do Not Use Your Mother’s Amex Card to Purchase and Resell Sneakers,

Do not use American Express corporate cards to purchase and resell sneakers – unless your mother is in an executive position at Nike. And if that’s the case, please inform her that her latest package has arrived at Nike HQ.

just sue it

Do Not F— With the Swoosh

Do not flip, reverse, invert, toss, tear, tumble or tweak the Nike Swoosh unless you are a musical artist with a considerable following or a high-end Japanese imprint. Individuals in the teaching institution: please refrain from correcting students’ work with the Swoosh. Consider using other copyright-free motifs like stars, smiley faces, or a simple IRL thumbs-up.

In terms of vocal encouragement, consider phrases like ‘Let’s go, Johnny’ and ‘Stick it to ‘em, Ginny’. Any mention of ‘Just Do It’ will require pre-authorisation from governing bodies and will be categorically denied unless prior written applications are lodged and consent is given.

warren lotas lakers
image via @warrenlotas

Please Refrain From Communicating With the Reprehensible Warren Lotas

Do not talk, text, reference, or share any work by agitator Warren Lotas. Anyone found wearing a t-shirt or hoodie by the apostate will be swiftly disrobed, hosed, and placed in one of Nike’s re-education outposts.

All West Coast artists found in correspondence will be introduced to Nike’s revolutionary Air Tuned cushioning system via the face.

nike cortez Onitsuka Tiger

Repeat After Me, Slowly: Nike Have Never Plagiarised Anything

Nike have never plagiarised anyone else’s designs. This is a universal, monolithic truth. Much like the sky is blue, the earth is round, and NFTs are lame. Still, Nike reserve the right to hunt down anyone trespassing copyright laws in Zuckerberg’s virtual space and will not hesitate to employ any and all neo-techno-interrogation techniques.

Any civil dissonance will result in the individuals responsible reporting directly to Nike’s Ministry of Truth and Swoosh.

Now, how many fingers am I holding up?

neckface x nike sb dunk low
image via @rube_

Never Slander Nike

Do not deride, defame or slander Nike or any of its subsidiaries at any event, public or private. Nike reserves the right to use any technology – new or existing – to ascertain what was said or written on Earth or any future cosmic settlements in perpetuity.

For a complete retrospective of copyright issues in the sneaker industry, have a read of this piece from non-other than Simon ‘Woody’ Wood.

Disclaimer: The information expressed in ‘How (Not) to Get Sued by Nike’ is not meant as a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the counsel of a qualified professional if you have questions or need legal assistance.

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