It was only a matter of time before it happened, Nike has officially sued Warren Lotas for his Dunk imitations, and from the looks of it, Nike is making a big statement with the lawsuit.
Warren Lotas Dunk lookalikes have plagued the sneaker industry the past year with the “designer” taking classic Nike Dunk colorways and applying them to his very own Dunk inspired silhouettes. As we saw him release the popular Stussy and Heineken colorways earlier where he just added a hockey mask to the lower portion of the Nike Swoosh which made the sneaker “different” from Nike’s Dunk Lows that released in the earlier part of 2000, the endeavor began as a win-win due to the profit available to be made. Both editions resell for a couple of grand with prices as high as $6,000, so with the close resemblance, you could only imagine how much Lotas racked up in profits from the lookalikes.
While everything seemed to be going okay, just recently Lotas decided to one-up himself and go even bigger which now has proved to be the straw that broke the camels back and pushed Nike into filing a lawsuit. Opting for another Hockey Mask take to another iconic Dunk Low, the Staple Pigeon Dunk from 2005 is arguably one of if not the most coveted dunks of all time and is the shoe primarily responsible for all of Jeff Staple’s success looked to be a no brainer. But with the alternate take to a collaboratory shoe, Jeff Staple decided to co-sign the sneaker and post the shoe on his Instagram for his millions of loyal followers to see. A clear act of profiting off of Nike’s 2005 success, the two went even further and made the design made to order and allowed users to buy as many as possible with no max of stock availability. Due to all the ruckus the two made, the hype likely got the attention of Nike and now both are in hot water with the Swoosh.
While the lawsuit was only filed against Lotas, it would make sense that Jeff Staple would get some heat with the brand and may even cause the SB designer to have a falling out with Nike. While that is a question that lingers on, what we do know is Nike has filed at a perfect time as the rip off Pigeon Dunks were getting ready to be shipped out to customers and Nike is now demanding to keep all of the profits that Lotas cashed in. Nike has officially asked a Los Angeles federal judge to order an immediate stop to Lotas’ manufacturing and sales of the sneaker and has asked for “any and all profits as a result of WL’s acts in violation of Nike’s rights”. While the case will be look upon by judges and lawyers very soon, the story is barely shaping up. We expect Nike to make a statement out of Lotas to deter followers from doing the same, so make sure to keep it locked to JustFreshKicks for all of the updates going forward.
UPDATE: You can now view the full Nike, Inc v. Warren Lotas, LLC court case here. Check out an excerpt from it below, as well as a visual showing the colorways inspired by iconic Nike Dunks.