Nike is suing the Los Angeles streetwear brand Warren Lotas over the alleged production and sale of fake Nike Dunk sneakers, according to court papers obtained Thursday.
The trademark lawsuit, filed late Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court, contends Warren Lotas is promoting and selling a shoe that is “confusingly similar” to the famous Dunk sneaker, and is adorned with a near-copy of Nike’s famous Swoosh design.
“Warren Lotas only recently announced these sneakers, but there is already confusion in the marketplace regarding whether they are legitimate customizations or illegal fakes,” according to the complaint. “Warren Lotas intentionally created the confusion, and he is attempting to capitalize on it, by, among other things, using Nike’s registered Dunk word mark, using Nike’s registered Dunk trade dress, and using a mark that is confusingly similar to Nike’s famous Swoosh design to promote and sell his fakes.”
A Warren Lotas representative could not immediately be reached.
Originally a basketball shoe aimed at college athletes in 1986, the Dunk’s popularity spread as the skateboard community adopted it in the 2000s. From there, the Dunk crossed over into fashion with limited-edition sneaker collaborations with designers, artists and hip-hop musicians drawing crowds to stores upon release, while sometimes drawing many thousands of dollars at resale on ebay, according to the suit.
“As a direct and proximate result of WL’s wrongful acts, Nike has suffered, continues to suffer, and/or is likely to suffer damage to its trademarks, business reputation, and goodwill that money cannot compensate. Unless restrained, WL will continue to use the Swoosh design mark and/or confusingly similar marks, and will cause irreparable damage to Nike for which Nike has no adequate remedy at law,” the lawsuit alleges.
Nike is seeking to have a Los Angeles federal judge order an immediate stop to Warren Lotas’ manufacture and sale of its allegedly “confusingly similar” sneakers, plus damages and “any and all profits earned as a result of WL’s acts in violation of Nike’s rights,” the suit states.
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