Adidas: Skechers Copied Springblade Sneaker
On Monday, July 11, Adidas launched a new legal attack on Skechers. This time, the German sportswear company filed suit in Oregon District Court alleging that Skechers willfully infringed on their Springblade technology that is patented under US Patent Nos. 9,339,079 and 9,345,285.
At the presentation of the new Springblade shoe in 2013, Adidas described the shoe as “the first running shoe with individually tuned blades engineered to help propel runners forward with one of the most effective energy returns in the industry.” Skechers’ Mega Flex Line also includes spring-like attachments under its shoes, however the Skechers springs appear to be slightly longer and wider than the springs on the Springblade.
Adidas argues that the industry and consumers also noticed the similarities and refers to, amongst other evidence, a report by sneaker expert Riley Jones, who writes:
“Currently in stock on the Skechers website are a variety of boys’ ‘Mega Flex’ sneakers which, even from an outsider’s perspective, look exactly like the Adidas Springblade technology. Everything from the angle of the blades to the material used looks identical to the Adidas version, so much so that we can’t help but wonder if the parts may have originated from the same factory.”
According to the complaint, Skechers markets its Mega Blade as a “takedown” of their adult counterparts so that kids would have the “opportunity to wear the same popular styles as their older siblings and schoolmates.” However, Adidas notes that Skechers does not have an adult line similar to the Mega Flex or Mega Blades. Adidas therefore reasons that the Mega Blades can only be a takedown copy of the Springblade sneaker.
This is not the first time Adidas and Skechers face off in court. Last year September, Adidas sued Skechers over its Stan Smith sneaker, alleging that Skechers’ Onix shoe closely resembled the popular sneaker. The court granted Adidas preliminary summary judgment and prevented Skechers from selling the shoes. In the current case Adidas is also seeking a preliminary injunction and damages.