Nike Sued Him for Making 400 Pairs of a Reimagined Air Jordan 1
“Naadier Riles, the founder of Global Heartbreak, is not an independent creator when it comes to footwear—he is a bootlegger,” is the opening line of a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey last week by Nike, the world’s largest sneaker manufacturer. It’s suing Riles, a 26-year-old clothing designer who works out of his apartment in North Brunswick, New Jersey. Known professionally as Naady, he’s accused of copyright infringement for selling re-imagined versions of the Air Jordan 1 model.
Nike accused Naady’s company of causing it “to suffer irreparable injury to its business,” claiming that it “will suffer substantial loss of goodwill and reputation unless and until Global Heartbreak is permanently enjoined from the wrongful acts complained of herein.”
Global Heartbreak has produced 400 pairs of Naady’s designs over the years, not all of which have been sold; Nike sells approximately 100 pairs of sneakers every four seconds, or 780 million annually.
The lawsuit was “surprising,” says Brendan Dunne, editor of the top online sneaker magazine, Sole Collector, since Global Heartbreak’s operation is tiny. “I guess nothing is off the table,” he told Reason.
Naady’s sneaker design replaces the iconic Nike Swoosh with a broken heart pierced by a needle and uses different colors and details, though the shape and mold of the shoe are clearly taken from the Air Jordan 1.
Nike and its law firm, Arnold & Porter, didn’t respond to Reason’s interview requests, but the complaint states the company has a zero-tolerance policy when protecting its intellectual property. “Nike cannot allow bad actors such as [Riles]…to confuse consumers by building a business on the back of Nike’s most famous trademarks, undermining the value of those trademarks and the message they convey.”
This latest lawsuit is part of a recent, more litigious strategy by the sneakers giant. Trademarks are typically reserved for words, symbols, or logos us
Article from Reason.com
The Reason Magazine website is a go-to destination for libertarians seeking cogent analysis, investigative reporting, and thought-provoking commentary. Championing the principles of individual freedom, limited government, and free markets, the site offers a diverse range of articles, videos, and podcasts that challenge conventional wisdom and advocate for libertarian solutions. Whether you’re interested in politics, culture, or technology, Reason provides a unique lens that prioritizes liberty and rational discourse. It’s an essential resource for those who value critical thinking and nuanced debate in the pursuit of a freer society.