It turns out the Nike Dunk‘s rise to its former glory has resulted in some issues.
Once extremely popular in the early aughts, the Nike Dunk has been a hot ticket item for the better part of the past two years, causing one brand specifically to try to hop on the hype. Designer Warren Lotas has been one, who created his own alleged Nike SB Dunk look alike. His design is nearly identical to the dunk save for a swoosh that isn’t as rounded as the authentic one, and on the sole where it would normally read “Nike,” it reads the designer’s initials “WL.”
What makes the case worse is that the designs used are very similiar to some classic Nike Dunks. First was 2007’s classic “Freddy Krueger” Dunks, then it was the pair eerily similar to the Heineken Dunks –except the red swoosh was swapped for cream– that were dubbed “Toxic Green” and dropped in July. Then there was the “Stussy “Cherry” colorway that dropped in August. And after that, Lotas dropped his own version of one of the most hyped up dunks of all time, the Jeff Staple-designed NYC “Pigeon.”
“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.”
Nike is not taking someone jacking its designs lightly and even went as far as to refer to Lotus as a bad actor.
“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,” reads the suit. “Warren Lotas is one of those bad actors.”
To wrap up the case, Nike wants Warren Lotas to stop making and selling the sneakers, plus damages and the profits he’s made selling them.