After Nike’s recent lawsuit against MSCHF for the altered Air Max 97 trainers, the company is now in a trade mark dispute with competitor Puma. This dispute is not about a specific item or trainer but instead, Puma is attempting to prevent Nike from trade marking the term “footware” in reference to tech-operated trainers.
It is not yet confirmed which shoes Nike wishes to use the trade mark for, however, their FlyEase collection uses ‘adapt’ technology for easy on and off access, so it is possible the ‘footware’ mark would cover this collection. Moreover, Nike has released hands-free trainers, while others may be laced through an app. The company is in the process of patenting those features. The competitors appeared before the High Court of Justice in London earlier this week after Nike’s trade mark application with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). The same application has been filed in the US, which is also facing opposition from Puma.
According to Puma, the proposed term of ‘footware’ is a clear combination of ‘footwear’ and ‘software’ or ‘hardware’, and the company stated that it should not be exclusive to Nike, as it simply refers to footwear-specific hardware, as opposed to indicating a source of the mark. In response, Nike listed its many tech-embedded shoes, including ‘smart shoes’, ‘smart football boots’, ‘trackable trainers’ and ‘connected footwear’, demonstrating that they hold an array of tech-based trainers. Although Puma has not showcased any tech footwear of their own, through opposing Nike’s trade mark it appears likely that the company is looking to release some of its own soon.
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