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Adidas-Salomon infringed SHOX cushioning technology, claims Nike

Feb '06
Footwear Giant Nike filed a legal complaint against Adidas-Salomon in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

The complaint identifies several top Adidas products that infringe upon Nike's patented SHOX cushioning technology.

These infringing products include shoes using Adidas' a3 cushioning system, including the new Kevin Garnett signature shoe and its Adidas_1 footwear.

The Nike patent protects technical columnar design features of the Shox system that maximize stability and performance of the shoe. Despite Nike's patent protection, Adidas has built shoes that use Nike's technology.

"Nike is widely recognized for its product innovation in footwear and athletic products and they invest heavily to provide performance products to their consumers.

It is deeply frustrating and inappropriate when companies borrow or refashion such technologies as their own without making similar investments," said Eric Sprunk, Vice President, Global Footwear Nike, Inc.

As an example of Nike's commitment to innovation, Sprunk referenced the Air Max 360, the company's latest offering in its transformative line of Nike Air footwear that originally debuted in 1979.

Using a patented manufacturing process called "thermoforming" the Air Max 360 shoe has a foamless mid-sole that features a superior cushioning system and has already shown promising future applications for athletic footwear performance.

Similarly, Nike's SHOX cushioning technology, which debuted in 2000, is protected by 19 or more separate patents on its unique cushioning system and required 16 years of development and considerable financial investment to transition it into the athletic footwear marketplace.

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