Sports apparel brands and long-time rivals, Adidas and Nike, are taking their latest dispute to court, and it’s not one where either side can score points by shooting some hoops either. To be exact, the triple-striped brand recently filed its first federal lawsuit against the other last Friday, where it alleged that its swoosh-bearing counterpart infringed nine of its patents relating to mobile apps and smart shoe technology.
According to a report by Reuters and The Verge, Adidas claims that Nike’s Run Club, Training Club and SNKRS smartphone apps infringe its own patents. These include features such as audio feedback during workouts, GPS tracking, training plans, the ability to pre-book limited-edition shoes, and integration with external or third-party accessories (heart rate monitors, etc).
In addition, the company also emphasised heavily on its rival’s SNKRS app, which functions too similarly to its Confirmed mobile application. Adidas says that the app launched soon after their own and also provides customers with “insider access” to premium and limited edition merchandise as well as sneakers.
As you may or can already tell, some of these functions, GPS tracking especially, could also be found in apps and products from other brands, both sports-oriented and otherwise. The reports did not mention the supposedly particular features from Adidas’ GPS tracking or third party integrations that Nike has allegedly infringed. However, it is not uncommon for rivals to take a jab at each other whenever an opportunity presents itself.
On the apparel side of things, the triple-striped brand accused Nike of infringing its smart shoe technology. Specifically, the footwear in question is the Nike Adapt sneakers, which Adidas alleges is copying its own (but discontinued) Adidas_1 shoes. Interestingly enough, both products’ special features differ from one another; Adapt sneakers enable motorised self-lacing, whereas the Adidas_1 features a motor within the sole that automatically adjusts the “stiffness” of the shoes based on the accompanying sensor in its heels. Nevertheless, Adidas is adamant that Nike’s technology is derived from theirs.
The German sports apparel brand is seeking damages from Nike from this lawsuit, though the specific amount has not been disclosed at this time. In addition, Adidas is also seeking a court order to further prevent its rival from “directly or indirectly infringing one or more” of its patents in the future.
(Source: Reuters / The Verge)
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