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Nike sues Lululemon over shoe designs

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Nike is suing Lululemon for patent infringement related to at least four of the apparel company’s shoes, extending a contentious legal history between the two companies.

In the complaint, filed Monday in Manhattan federal court, Nike claims it has suffered economic harm and irreparable injury as a result of Lululemon’s sale of the Chargefeel Mid, Chargefeel Low, Blissfeel and Strongfeel shoes.

Nike said its three patent claims focus on textile elements, including knitted elements, webbed areas and tubular structures on the footwear. One patent claim also addresses the footwear’s performance.

Nike, which is based in Oregon, is seeking unspecified damages.

“Nike’s claims are unjustified, and we look forward to proving our case in court,” a Lululemon spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday.

Vancouver-based Lululemon released Blissfeel, its first-ever running shoe for women, in March, marking the company’s official foray into the sneaker market. The second shoe in its lineup, the Chargefeel, launched in July for running and training.

Nike also sued Lululemon in January 2022, accusing the Canadian apparel maker of infringing on six patents over its at-home Mirror fitness device and related mobile applications. Nike is seeking triple damages in that case.

Nike claimed it invented — and filed a patent application back in 1983 on — a device that determined a runner’s speed, calories expended, distance traveled and time elapsed. Interactive workout platform Mirror guides users through cardio classes and other exercises. The complaint noted similarities between the technology enabling users to compete with other users, record their performance and target specific exertion levels.

Lululemon said in a statement at the time, “The patents in question are overly broad and invalid. We are confident in our position and look forward to defending it in court.”

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