Nike Sue Warren Lotas Over Alleged Nike SB Dunk ‘Pigeon’ Bootlegs
Well, it looks like copyright law may have finally caught up with Warren Lotas. The LA-based creative’s eponymous brand has stirred up plenty of controversy in recent months, with his self-proclaimed ‘reinterpretations’ of iconic Nike SB Dunks that plonk a Jason Voorhees-esque hockey mask on the sacred Swoosh. And it appears the Instagram debates over whether this defiles or dresses up the trademark may have attracted the attention of the lawyers over at Nike, Inc.
On October 14, Nike filed a case against Warren Lotas through the US District Court for the Central District of California regarding his infringement of protected Nike intellectual property. Or, in layman’s terms, Nike have sued Warren Lotas for making fake sneakers.
From official court documents that have started doing the rounds on the ‘net, Nike have centred on three recent Lotas designs, all inspired by Nike SB Dunk colourways, that have specifically infringed on the Swoosh design. Seen above, the official ‘Pigeon’, ‘Stussy Cherry’, ‘Heineken’, and ‘Jason Voorhees’ colourways have been essentially replicated on Lotas’ designs, with the addition of the modified Swoosh. The pictorial also points out a striking similarity in the outsole pattern used on the Lotas pairs, versus the Nike version.
‘Nike protects its iconic sneaker designs, and its intellectual property in those designs, by rooting out bad actors that undermine the DNA of sneaker culture by promoting and selling fakes… Warren Lotas is one of those bad actors,’ said the Swoosh, in a scathing assessment of the 24-year-old’s recent work.
'Nike protects its iconic sneaker designs, and its intellectual property in those designs, by rooting out bad actors that undermine the DNA of sneaker culture by promoting and selling fakes… Warren Lotas is one of those bad actors.'
The Warren Lotas ‘Jason Voorhees’, ‘Heineken’ and ‘Cherry’ drops (each renamed with vague monikers like ‘Toxic Green’) seemingly went off without a hitch earlier this year. His latest ‘Pigeon’ drop, which was an official collaboration with Jeff Staple (who designed the OG colourway), had a brief pre-order in late September, with units expected to take three to four months to manufacture. But Nike’s lawsuit is pushing to stop pairs from ever making it to customers’ feet (or more likely, secondary markets).
It seems there will be a new chapter in the ‘Pigeon’ Dunk’s infamous legacy. Stay tuned to SF for any developments from this intriguing case.