Nike Pounces on Puma

Things certainly are heating up between Nike, Inc. and Puma North America, Inc the two corporate giants that design and manufacture casual and athletic footwear (among other products) have recently become embroiled in a patent infringement lawsuit. On 3 May 2018, Nike filed a complaint against its said competitor in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The former is alleging that Puma has ‘forgone independent innovation’ and is employing Nike’s technology without permission.Â

Nike launched its ‘Flyknit’ footwear in 2012 and the Flyknit technology has been a vital component in the company’s development. It actually owns over three hundred utility patents pertaining to its Flyknit technology and the current contention between the two rivals involves four of those patents.Â

This appears to be a substantial lawsuit in which the complainant is seeking relief with respect to the alleged infringement that concerns a comprehensive selection of footwear. The norm is to contend with one particular type of patent infringement at a time. Nike however, does not appear to be pulling any punches and is going for the jugular. This could be a tactical move as Puma’s chief executive recently commented on its 2018 revenue growth, stating that it would be ‘a little bit tricky’ due to a tough U.S. retail environment.

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