Nike Files Trademark Infringement Claim for Counterfeit Air Jordans, Blames Amazon, Alibaba [+ FULL COURT DOC PDF]

Nike lawsuit alibaba counterfeit 2021
Courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Intro

The Nike legal team has had a busy week. Coming off the heels of their claim against artists selling custom Air Force 1’s on July 18, they’re at it again. 

Nike filed a 217-page claim today against e-commerce stores selling counterfeit goods. The claim does not disclose the defendants’ names, but does express its frustration with certain e-commerce platforms’ lack of identify verification as the catalyst for the lawsuit. Among those listed are Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, Alibaba, Wish.com, and DHgate. 

“… these e-commerce platforms continue to be unable or unwilling to prevent the rampant and flagrant listing of counterfeit products on their platforms. Thus, Nike is forced to file this action to discover the full scope of the infringement…”

Complaint, page 2. See bottom of post for full document.

Identity Issues

Nike’s claim states, “Tactics used by Defendants to conceal their identities and the full scope of their operation make it virtually impossible for Nike to learn Defendants’ true identities and the exact interworking of their counterfeit network at this time.” The complaint continues to address how sellers create “multiple fictitious aliases” but their storefronts “often share unique identifiers, such as templates with common design elements.” Also, some of the counterfeit items “bear similar irregularities,” which might imply the goods are from a common source. 

Pop Quiz: Real or Fake?

If you’re wondering why people continue to buy counterfeit Air Jordans en masse, check out the comparison below. Can you tell which one is real or fake?

air jordan 4 university blue release date e1627337759363
air jordan 4 knockoff 1 e1627337801145
air jordan 4 university blue back e1627338155965
air jordan 4 knockoff 2 2
air jordan 4 university blue bottom sole e1627338031535
air jordan 4 knockoff 3 e1627338057490

Complaint (Full Document)

  • Case No. 21-cv-03964: Nike, Inc. v. The Partnerships and Unincorporated Associations Identified on Schedule “A” (which is sealed)
  • Exhibit 1: Nike’s registrations with the United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • Exhibit 2: Intellectual Property Rights: Fiscal Year 2018 Seizure Statistics, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Trade
  • Exhibit 3: “Alibaba, Amazon, and Counterfeiting in the Age of the Internet” by Daniel C.K. Chow, Northwestern Law Journal (Winter 2020)
  • Exhibit 4: “Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Report to the President of the United States” Office of Strategy, Policy & Plans, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (January 24, 2020)

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I.P. Illustrated will report on any updates.

Answer to pop quiz: The authentic Air Jordans are the images with the gray background: https://www.nike.com/in/launch/t/air-jordan-4-university-blue.