Nike Inc. requested a US trade agency to block imports of a wide range of Adidas AG Primeknit shoes, saying they copy Nike’s patented inventions for a knitted fabric that increases sustainability (reducing waste) without loss of performance.
The complaint was filed Wednesday at the International Trade Commission in Washington. Nike Inc. seeks to ban imports of shoes, including Adidas by Stella McCartney Ultraboost, Pharrell Williams Superstar Primeknit Shoes and Terrex Free Hiker hiking shoes. Nike also filed a patent-infringement suit in federal court in Oregon making similar allegations.
The patents cover Nike’s FlyKnit technology, which uses specialized yarn from recycled and reclaimed materials to create a sock-like fit in the upper part of the shoe. Nike said it was the result of more than $100 million and a decade of research — almost all done in the US — and “represented the first major technology innovation in footwear uppers in decades.”