Adidas sues Nike over run-tracking and shoe-fitting technologies

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An Adidas shoe is seen at a store in the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, New York, U.S., February 15, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Adidas said a range of Nike technologies infringe a variety of patents
  • New lawsuit comes after Nike sued Adidas over sneaker designs

(Reuters) – Adidas AG sued Nike Inc on Friday for allegedly infringing its patents with its mobile apps and shoe-fitting technology, marking Adidas’ first federal lawsuit against its rival in a long-running fight between the two biggest sneaker brands in the world.

The court case filed in East Texas federal court said Nike’s Run Club, Training Club and SNKRS mobile apps and the Adapt system for fitting sneakers infringe nine Adidas patents for exercise monitoring, a system of ” smart shoes” and other technologies.

Adidas said it has a history of developing mobile fitness technologies, including the “world’s first smart running shoe” in 2004, the “first fully integrated training system combining sensors in shoes and wearables” in 2005 , and personal training apps from 2008.

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Adidas’ lawsuit follows complaints Nike filed in December against the company in federal court in Oregon and the United States International Trade Commission, where it accused Adidas’ shoes of infringing patents related to the design of its Flyknit sneakers.

Oregon’s lawsuit and the ITC’s request to block imports of Adidas shoes are still pending.

Nike also sued Adidas in East Texas in 2005, alleging that several Adidas shoes violated two patents related to shoe design. The companies agreed to drop the case in 2007.

Adidas’ companies and attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Friday’s lawsuit.

Adidas has accused Nike’s exercise apps of infringing patents covering features such as location-based running tracking, audio performance feedback and a workout plan creation system.

Adidas has its own training and running apps which it says have been downloaded by millions of users.

Digital revenue is an important source of overall growth for Nike and grew 22% in the third quarter of 2021, according to a company report.

Adidas also accused Nike’s Adapt system, which automatically loosens or tightens shoelaces based on the shape of the wearer’s foot, of infringing on its patents for a “smart shoe” system that adjusts a shoe’s cushioning. depending on what the wearer is doing.

The company also said Nike’s SNKRS app for selling limited-edition shoes infringes a patent related to confirming a potential buyer’s authenticity.

German company Adidas asked the court for an undetermined amount of damages and an order preventing Nike from breaching.

The case is Adidas AG v. Nike Inc, US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, No. 2:22-cv-00198.

For Adidas: Mitchell Stockwell, Michael Morlock and Matias Ferrario of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

For Nike: not available

Read more:

Nike asks US agency to block imports of Adidas shoes, citing patents

Nike prevails in shoe patent dispute with Adidas

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