• Jini Kong

adidas sues Skechers, claiming ‘Springblade’ trainer copy

adidas on Monday escalated its legal battle against Skechers USA over athletic trainer (sneaker) designs, filing a lawsuit accusing its rival of stealing its ‘Springblade’ concept for the ‘Mega Flex’ shoe.

In a complaint filed in US District Court in Portland, Oregon, adidas said Skechers “willfully infringed two patents related to Springblade”, a three-year-old design whose midsole includes blades meant to help propel runners forward.

adidas accused Skechers of developing its Mega Flex shoes, including Mega Blade 2.0 and Mega Blade 3.0, as “takedowns” that copy the Springblade technology without the cost of creating it.

“This pattern of unlawful behaviour and freeloading in the industry is outrageous and must end,” adidas said in a statement. “We will take every legal measure possible to protect and defend our innovations.”

Skechers spokeswoman Jennifer Clay said it does not comment on pending litigation.

adidas’ lawsuit is the second against Skechers in federal court in Oregon in less than a year, seeks an injunction against any infringements and triple damages.

The lawsuit is one of many in the footwear industry seeking to protect patent and trademark rights.

Last September, adidas accused Skechers of illegally copying the design for its classic white Stan Smith tennis shoes. adidas won a preliminary injunction in February, and a jury trial is scheduled for May 2017, court records show.


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