Following word of Nike‘s trademark infringement lawsuit against BAPE, the iconic clothing brand has launched its opposition against the motion. The first response from BAPE is part of efforts for a dismissal in the case that claims BAPE’s footwear models infringe on the design of the Nike Air Force 1, Dunk, and Air Jordan 1.
A recent report, shares that BAPE’s lawyers are noting that Nike’s complaint has not sufficiently identified the elements of the BAPE STA and more that have infringed on its trade dress. Despite Nike offering trademark registration numbers, drawings, and photos in the lawsuit. “Nike has no choice but to spell out the elements of its trade dress or have its complaint dismissed,” said BAPE’s lawyers in a letter submitted to New York’s Southern District Court. The letter serves to notify the court of the intent to hold a pre-motion conference before a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
The letter also references claims that meetings in 2009 saw Nike offer a licensing deal to BAPE back in 2009 for the BAPE STA. BAPE’s lawyers claim that Nike’s in-house counsel and Vice President of Footwear went to Japan twice in 2009 to meet with the brand’s executives “to object to Bape’s sneaker designs.” Ultimately, offering an agreement that would see the end of the BAPE STA being sold.
The letter offers quotes from an email where BAPE rejected the offering and shared its efforts to reach an understanding. “We appreciate your efforts in coming over to Japan to discuss and present the license agreement in person…On careful review the license is not something we can rush to agree to since we do not perceive that Nike would have, at this late date, if at all, any viable or actionable claims against NOWHERE/BAPE.”
Adding, “Perhaps we are overlooking something, so in the interest of mutual cooperation, we would be more than amenable to reconsider our position, provided that you expressly spell out for us what claims Nike believes that it could advance against NOWHERE/BAPE. Once we receive this information, we will be able to more fully consider your offer of a license. look forward to hearing from you.”
In its initial filing, Nike claims that BAPE diminished its business in the United States after the 2009 meetings, while BAPE notes that Nike let up on the dispute, aside from introductory interaction in 2012.
Stay tuned for more details regarding the ongoing lawsuit between Nike and BAPE.
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