Nike and Bape Resolve Trademark Dispute Through Settlement
Nike and Bape Resolve Trademark Dispute Through Settlement

Nike Resolves Trademark Dispute with Bape

In a significant development, Nike reached a settlement in its trademark infringement lawsuit against Japanese streetwear giant Bape. The resolution, documented in a joint filing submitted to New York's Southern District Court, signals an end to the legal battle surrounding Bape's appropriation of several iconic Nike sneaker designs.
 

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Nike vs Bapesta via New York's Southern District Court


Amicable Resolution and Design Modifications

As part of the settlement agreement, Bape has agreed to discontinue production of its Bape Sta Mid, Court Sta, and Court Sta High sneakers, while also committing to modify the designs of its Bape Sta and Sk8 Sta models. In a statement to Complex, Nike expressed satisfaction with the amicable resolution, emphasizing the cessation of legal proceedings.
 

Nike vs Bapesta via New York's Southern District Court
Nike vs Bapesta via New York's Southern District Court

Despite Nike's public statement, Bape has refrained from offering any comments regarding the settlement. Nike initiated the trademark infringement suit against Bape in January 2023, alleging that Bape's sneaker designs closely mimicked iconic Nike models such as the Air Force 1 and Dunk. The legal filings provided insight into the contentious relationship between the two brands, revealing past interactions, including a licensing offer from Nike to Bape in 2009.
 

Nike vs Bapesta via New York's Southern District Court
Nike vs Bapesta via New York's Southern District Court


Evolution of Bape's Sneaker Lineup

At the center of the dispute is Bape's renowned Bape Sta, introduced in the early 2000s as an extravagant alternative to Nike's Air Force 1. Initially resembling the retro Nike shoe, the Bape Sta featured subtle alterations, notably replacing the iconic Swoosh with a star logo. Nike's complaint traces the evolution of Bape's sneaker offerings, highlighting what it perceives as an increasing infringement of its trademarks over the years.

2007 A Bathing Ape Bape Sta LowKanye West College Dropout
2007 A Bathing Ape Bape Sta LowKanye West College Dropout

 

2016 A Bathing Ape Bape Sta Low Ronnie Fieg Fiegsta
2016 A Bathing Ape Bape Sta Low Ronnie Fieg Fiegsta

 

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2022 Bape Sta Low Black

The resolution of the Nike-Bape lawsuit follows a pattern observed in similar legal disputes throughout the 2020s. Typically, such cases conclude with settlements, often involving modifications to the contested designs by the accused brands. During a pretrial conference in March, representatives for Bape indicated that both parties were nearing an agreement, foreshadowing the eventual settlement.


Changes on the Horizon for Bape's Sneaker Line

In compliance with the settlement terms, Bape is set to alter the design of its Bape Sta and Sk8 Sta models, both of which draw inspiration from Nike's Air Force 1 and Dunk. Past iterations of the Bape Sta have showcased subtle variations to resemble the Air Force 1, a trend that is likely to continue with the forthcoming modifications. Additionally, Nike has confirmed that Bape will cease production of other sneaker models resembling the Air Force 1 Mid, Air Jordan 1 Low, and Air Jordan 1 High.

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