Nike to Sue LA Designer Warren Lotas


One of the sneakers designed by Warren Lotas that has received grave controversy by sneakerheads and Nike.

Ryan Lee, Staff Writer

With the announcement of an unanticipated collaboration between artist/designer Warren Lotas and Jeff Staple of Staple Design, Nike has taken legal action, suing Warren Lotas for the sale and production of what many refer to as “Nike SB rip-offs” after he allegedly mimicked a shoe design for the brand’s famous Dunk sneaker.

One of the sneakers designed by Warren Lotas that has received grave controversy by sneakerheads and Nike.

In the beginning of this year, Lotas created a flipped design inspired by Friday the 13th’s Jason Vorhees’s Nike SB design in 2007. Subsequently, after Lotas’s debut into the sneaker world, he released an SB Dunk almost identical to Nike’s collaboration with Stüssy, an American clothing brand started by Shawn Stussy. With the controversial designs of Lotas already catching Nike’s attention, a collaboration with Jeff Staple, a frequent collaborator with Nike, pushed the shoe giant to take legal action. 

According to the LA Daily News, Nike filed a lawsuit against Lotas in the Los Angeles federal court, claiming that his shoe design is “‘confusingly similar to the famous Dunk sneaker and is adorned with a near-copy of Nike’s famous Swoosh design.’” In addition, the article states that “‘Warren Lotas intentionally created the confusion, and he is attempting to capitalize on it, by, among other things, using Nike’s registered Dunk word mark, using Nike’s registered Dunk trade dress, and using a mark that is confusingly similar to Nike’s famous Swoosh design to promote and sell his fakes.’”

Nike intends to secure and protect its intellectual property and also plans to clear any questions regarding the legitimacy of Lotas’s designs. Moreover, the lawsuit states that Nike has suffered “irreparable injury to its business” and that the damage will continue unless Lotas’ “illegal fakes” are stopped. Nike seeks triple the damages caused by Lotas, profits accumulated through the sales of Lotas’s shoes, and reimbursement of lawsuit and attorney fees. Finally, Nike wants Lotas to turn over “shoes, apparel, digital files, packaging, printed graphics, promotional materials, business cards, signs, labels, advertisements, flyers, circulars” or any items that feature anything more than comparable to the Swoosh logo.