The Oregon-based sneaker giant filed the 37-page complaint in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday against David Weeks, aka ‘Kiy’, and Bill Omar Carrasquillo, aka ‘Omi’, asking the court to force the pair to cease manufacture and sales of all offending merchandise and send the goods to the former Kyrie Irving partner for destruction.
Nike also named Chinese company Xiamen Wandering Planet as a co-defendant, calling it a “behind-the-scenes actor that provides material to infringers…”
Nike also sued for false designation of origin, trademark dilution, common law trademark infringement and the like under New York State law.
In the court document, complete with side-by-side photos, Nike said it attempted to resolve the trademark issues with both designers over a year ago, but to no avail.
“To be clear, Kiy’s and Omi’s lack of creativity and originality is intentional,” Nike attorneys wrote in the complaint. “… bad actors include not only those like Kiy and Omi who sell illegal knockoffs directly to consumers, but also various others in the supply chain, including manufacturers and distributors who provide material assistance to direct-to-consumer infringers.”
In a candid interview with Complex senior editor Riley Jones, Carrasquillo said, “he believes the Omi Air Jordan 1-inspired model is different enough from the real thing but that the Dunk-inspired shoe will be an issue,” admitting not enough changes were made from the original. “‘Everyone’s doing it, so I just thought, ‘It ain’t nothing,’ which was stupid on my part,’” Carrasquillo said.
Weeks, on the other hand, responded to news of the lawsuit by posting on Instagram, “The Fact That They Suing A Young Black Man, Who Started Out Exactly How They Did Is Kinda Crazy To Me… Ironic How They Tell Us To “Just Do It”… KIY READY THO.”
Recent history would suggest, however, that when it comes to potential infringement of its trademarks, Nike doesn’t play.
In February Nike sued resale platform StockX just for using pictures of Nike shoes in NFTs and last fall the Swoosh wasn’t laughing when it took satirical art collective MSCHF to court for using its trademark in the design of its ‘Satan Shoes’, which were said to contain one drop of human blood in the soles.
And yet, according to court documents, Carrasquillo even calls his shoes ‘Air Omi.’
“There is already confusion in the marketplace,” Nike said in its complaint. “Omi’s near-verbatim copying of the Asserted Marks has led to initial interest, confusion, post-sale confusion, and confusion in the secondary market.”