Puma still fights to prevent Nike from owning the term ‘footware’
Nike, which just sued MSCHF over its blood-filled Air Max 97 sneakers, is in the midst of yet another brand dispute, this time with Puma. Through Fashion law, there’s no specific shoe in question – instead, Puma is trying to stop Nike from marketing the term “footware,” which refers to tech-driven sneakers.
While it’s not yet clear which silhouettes Nike wants to use the term for, the brand’s FlyEase line uses its “Adapt” technology for easy access. Some models even offer a 100% hands-free fit, while other motorized laces are controlled via an app. We already know that Nike is trying to patent these features – maybe the “footware” label is one of them.
Is Nike the doorman? – Fashion law reports that Nike and Puma appeared before the High Court of Justice in London earlier this week for an appeal hearing regarding the Swoosh trademark application to the British Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) for the word ‘footware’ .
According to Nike, “footware” is related to “computer hardware modules for the reception, processing and transmission of data in electronic devices of the Internet of Things; electronic devices and computer software that allow users to interact remotely with other smart devices to monitor and control automated systems. Or, to put it bluntly, sneakers with some kind of technology.
In the United States, Nike has also filed a similar trademark application for “footware” with the US Patent and Trademark Office, which TFL reports that PUMA is also opposed. Because the term refers to an “obvious combination” of the words “shoes” and “hardware” or “software,” according to Puma, the term should not be exclusive to Nike, as it simply refers to specific material to the shoe. shoe instead of indicating a source.
In response, Nike collected receipts, showcasing its line of “smart running sneakers,” “trackable sneakers,” “smart shoes,” “smart soccer shoes,” “smart running shoes,” and “ connected shoes ”, all pointing to the shoes integrated into the company’s technology.
Puma is persistent – This is not the first time that Puma has attempted to legally ban the use of “shoes” by Nike. Through TFL, a previous lawsuit in 2020 saw the UKIPO rule in favor of Nike, as the bureau ruled that the “shoes” had no “immediately apparent” meaning and that the “evidence at stake [didn’t] establish that the mark is used descriptively in relation to the goods and services. “
While a reversal of the decision is unlikely, Puma still remains opposed to trademark demand in the UK and US, its resistance may suggest the brand has its own tech shoes along the way.