Nike sues New Balance, Skechers for patent infringement

Lawsuits accuse rival shoemakers of copying Nike's design and manufacturing methods

Nike, Inc. is suing competitors New Balance and Skechers, accusing the rival shoemakers of patent infringement for allegedly copying Nike's method for making the top part of sneakers.

In a pair of lawsuits filed Monday, Nike accused New Balance and Skechers both of stealing its "Flyknit technology," which the Oregon-based company says has been hailed as "the most groundbreaking sneaker innovation in over 40 years."

Nike swoosh

Nike sued rivals New Balance and Skechers on Monday, claiming the companies are using its patented technology for building shoe uppers. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

Nike claims it developed the Flynight method for designing and manufacturing shoe uppers over the span of ten years, and its competitors are using it despite it being patented. The company is demanding that both New Balance and Skechers stop using its technology, and is seeking damages.

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Skechers told FOX Business it does not comment on pending litigation. Neither Nike nor New Balance immediately responded to requests for comment.

Nike Russia Moscow

Nike has sued several competitors for patent infringement, accusing them of using technology the company says it spent a decade developing. (REUTERS/Grigory Dukor / Reuters)

Nike, Inc.

In the complaints, Nike notes that it has sued several companies for using the Flyknit technology in the past, including Adidas, Puma and Lululemon. Adidas and Puma settled those suits, while Nike's case against Lululemon is still ongoing.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NKE NIKE INC. 105.08 -0.19 -0.18%
SKX SKECHERS U.S.A. INC. 59.31 +0.54 +0.92%

Nike's website states that its Flyknit technology "uses high-strength fibers to create lightweight uppers with targeted areas of support, stretch and breathability." 

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The lawsuits said the patented technology allows it to make high-performance uppers with reduced materials and waste.

Reuters contributed to this report.