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Nike reaches settlement in trademark case against BAPE

April 30, 2024 11:33 AM
Nike reaches settlement in trademark case against BAPE

On Monday 29th April 2024, Nike and the Japanese streetwear brand BAPE, also known as A Bathing Ape, reached an agreement in their long-standing trademark infringement lawsuit. The settlement marks the end of the legal battle over BAPE's popular sneakers, which often bear a striking resemblance to well-known Nike models.

Nike had sued BAPE for persistently copying various iconic silhouettes, from the Air Force 1 to the Dunk Low, and even the Air Jordan 1 Low and High, according to Nike.

The legal dispute began on 25th January 2023, but whether Nike would take action against the Japanese brand had been lingering for several years.

Images U.S. District Court

In particular, the Bape Sta silhouette closely resembles the Nike Air Force 1 and was first released in 2000. Nike only took legal action against BAPE in 2023, reportedly due to a conversation between the two brands in 2009. At that time, BAPE appeared to redesign the Bape Sta to reduce its similarity to the Air Force 1.

However, in 2021, BAPE reintroduced the original Bape Sta, prompting Nike to take action. They claim that BAPE has since "significantly contributed to the extent and scope of the infringement," according to Nike.

Outcome of the lawsuit

Now, in April 2024, Nike has announced that BAPE has agreed to discontinue its Bape Sta Mid, Court Sta, and Court Sta High sneakers, and to modify the designs of the Bape Sta and Sk8 Sta. This outcome is not surprising given the trend of settlements in similar lawsuits, with smaller brands often agreeing to make adjustments to their designs.

BAPE has not yet commented, but we are curious to see how they will implement the changes to their sneakers. Stay tuned by regularly checking the Sneakerjagers news page.