For years custom sneaker artists have been taking some of the game’s most popular Nikes and Jordans and remixing them into some creative and interesting colorways, but one of them seems to have rubbed Nike the wrong way and is now facing a lawsuit thanks to his work.
Highsnobiety is reporting that customizer Warren Lotas has just been sued by the sneaker giant just a few weeks after Lotas began selling some custom sneakers that bared a similar resemblance to Nike’s classic Jeff Staple Pigeon SB Dunks that made sneaker history when it dropped in 2005. Coming in the same colorway as the OG Pigeons, Warren’s remix featured the Nike swoosh with a Jason Vorhees mask and Jeff Staple’s signature pigeon on the heel just like the original.
Though this isn’t Lotas’ first custom of some Nike classics, these are by far the most popular of the bunch he’s already done. Each one baring the same colorway of the original with the swoosh baring the Friday The 13th hockey mask. Being that the original Pigeon Dunks are basically priceless at this point, Warren’s $300 per custom sneaker might’ve got the attention of someone at Nike who love to keep their classics as exclusive as can be.
In the complaint Nike suggested that Lotas is confusing people into buying his version of the Pigeon dunks even though sneakerheads know that these aren’t what dropped in 2005. We mean, the Jason mask kinda gives it away, you know?
“Warren Lotas only recently announced these sneakers, but there is already confusion in the marketplace regarding whether they are legitimate customizations or illegal fakes,” the complaint reads. “Warren Lotas intentionally created the confusion, and he is attempting to capitalize on it, by, among other things, using Nike’s registered Dunk word mark, using Nike’s registered Dunk trade dress, and using a mark that is confusingly similar to Nike’s famous Swoosh design to promote and sell his fakes.”
Though most would just call these customs, other sneaker purists have called these fakes. Still regardless of how people feel, Nike doesn’t want one of the very few sneakers they haven’t retro’d to get any sort of a comeback and sued Lotas before he could even complete a single order to anyone who dropped $300 on these joints.
“As a direct and proximate result of WL’s wrongful acts, Nike has suffered, continues to suffer, and/or is likely to suffer damage to its trademarks, business reputation, and goodwill that money cannot compensate,” the lawsuit states. “Unless restrained, WL will continue to use the Swoosh design mark and/or confusingly similar marks, and will cause irreparable damage to Nike for which Nike has no adequate remedy at law.”
Well, at least New Line Cinema hasn’t come for WL for using the Jason hockey mask in his creations.