WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court Wednesday handed down a unanimous decision in favor of Nike Inc. in a trademark dispute over a footwear design with Already LLC, a Dallas-based apparel and footwear company doing business under the brand name Yums.
The justices ruled that an action filed by Already seeking to declare Nike’s trademark on a footwear design invalid was moot because Nike had already signed a covenant not to enforce its trademark against the company’s footwear style.
The Supreme Court case, which was brought by Already, grew out of a trademark infringement lawsuit that Nike filed against Already in 2009. In that case Nike alleged that two of Already’s athletic shoes violated Nike’s Air Force 1 trademark.
Denying those allegations, Already filed a counterclaim against Nike and challenged the validity of Nike’s Air Force 1 trademark.
However, while the suit was pending, Nike reversed course and issued a “covenant not to sue,” promising not to raise any infringement or unfair competition claims against Already’s existing footwear designs or any future designs that constituted a “colorable imitation” of current products, according to the court.
Nike moved to dismiss its claims, as well as Already’s counterclaim, but Already opposed the dismissal of its counterclaim. Already provided affidavits from three potential investors who asserted they would not invest in any new versions of its footwear lines until Nike’s trademark was invalidated. An executive also gave an affidavit that Nike had intimidated retailers into refusing to carry the company’s shoes, the court said.
The District Court dismissed Already’s counterclaim to invalidate Nike’s trademark, concluding that was no longer a controversy because Nike had signed the covenant not to sue, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling.
In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said the case, like others, had become “moot” because “the issues presented are no longer ‘live’ or the parties lack a legally cognizable interest.”
Roberts said that Nike had met the burden of proving that it would not resume its enforcement activity. “The covenant is unconditional and irrevocable,” Roberts wrote. “It prohibits Nike from filing suit or making any claim or demand; protects both Already and Already’s distributors and customers, and covers not just current or previous designs, but also colorable imitations.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion