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Patent dispute between Nike and Adidas over knitted shoes goes into the next round.
© 2022 Nike Inc.

The question of who invented knitted sports shoes is still being bitterly disputed. As the US federal authority International Trade Commission (ITC) has announced, it is examining at Nike’s request whether Adidas may continue to sell its “Primeknit” shoe models in the USA. Nike has been accusing the sports goods manufacturer from Herzogenaurach for years of infringing one of its patents with the popular sports shoes. Based on this conviction, Nike is therefore demanding in the complaint filed with the ITC in December that the import of these models be banned.

The dispute over the knitted shoes has already lasted almost 10 years. In 2012, the two companies had launched recycled sneakers on the market with a few months’ gap – Nike with the “Flyknit” model, Adidas with “Primeknit”. Not only do the names sound similar, but the manufacturing process, in which “high-performance” fused yarns are knitted into a mesh, is also said to have similarities. According to Nike, Adidas has infringed a total of six patents of the US competitor in 49 shoe models. Adidas, on the other hand, claims that its “Primeknit” shoes are the result of its own research and development.

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