Lotas decided to drop a new silhouette that still looks pretty similar to the dunk, except the swoosh look-alike has disappeared. In its place is now a profile shot of a reaper– but Nike still isn’t satisfied with the new design as the company is on the attack once again. Reports have surfaced that Nike has filed preliminary injunctions against the supposed quick fix because the new Reaper silhouette still resembles its Dunk.
Nike’s lawyers aren’t holding its tongue after Lotas tried to fix the issue, calling it a “blatant bait-and-switch” of its iconic design. The brand’s more upset now that Lotas didn’t present the altered reaper design amid the initial lawsuit because if he did, they’d likely have been shot down anyway.
“[Warren Lotas] never presented these ‘replacement’ sneakers to Nike for its review or approval. If it had, Nike would have likely told [Lotas] that the ‘replacement’ sneakers are unacceptable because they appear to still infringe at least some of Nike’s Dunk trade dress registrations,” reads the filing. “For example, the ‘replacement’ sneakers appear to have at least the same or a similar infringing outsole as the WL Pigeon and WL Broccolini sneakers.”
The latest offerings on his site are a pair dubbed “Electric Blue” that resemble a pair of UNC Jordans, a clean slate pair made of varying grey gradients, and a third that takes the Reaper name to another level with a horror theme complete with fake blood splatter. Under the third picture, Lotas included a caption about Nike, claiming that the sportswear giant is making impossible demands to intimidate other small businesses from exercising their creative freedom in the future.
“Regardless of our actions, we believe NIKE’s claims, such as supposedly owning color combinations and functional, run-of-the-mill design elements, hurt everyone if we don’t push back,” reads the caption. “We believe they are using this lawsuit to suffocate small brands, customizers, and artists, not just WL. Even if you hate us, you need to understand the precedent this will set for creating as the little guy.”
It looks like Lotas might have to go back to the drawing board again.