Earlier this year we spoke at length on bootleg culture, following on from Nike’s copyright war with Warren Lotas and eventual trademark of the shape and silhouette of the Air Jordan 1 in multiple configurations, but now it appears the Oregon powerhouse is taking things one step further and aiming to attack the art of sneaker customs.
The news broke as we learned the Nike was pursuing a lawsuit with Drip Creationz, as well as a former employee-turned customiser Jeffrey Waskowiak (owner of KickRich) for “combining purportedly genuine Nike shoe soles with upper fabricates entirely by the defendants” and making “reproductions of Nike’s famous Swoosh”. In particular, they highlighted an “Amazon” themed Jordan 1 from KickRich, which they state “creates a false affiliation with the e-com platform”.
This is bad news for any and every customiser on earth, be it the small-time enthusiast or business mogul. The community is a hub for creativity, new developments in sneaker design, and inspiration for Nike as well as other brands – why, then, are Nike against this? It’s possible that the problem isn’t the custom itself, but maybe those that feature other brand logos like Amazon and USPS, but the quotes above from Nike’s legal papers are open to interpretation so could find application against anyone and everyone. The question is which customisers will face legal battles with Nike, and are we about to see the assassination of a massive community in the sneaker world?
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