In January, Nike filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Illinois, accusing over 200 online stores of selling counterfeit Nike products. The names of the defendants were hidden from the public. According to the brand’s lawyers, notifying the alleged counterfeiters in the complaint would enable them to destroy evidence of their illicit activities and transfer their assets to offshore accounts. The court unsealed that list of names and other previously sealed documents this week, including an exhibit consisting of 751 pages which shows exactly what the defendants are accused of selling.
As Nike was granted a preliminary injunction against the defendants, the documents were unsealed. Nike obtained a temporary restraining order in February that barred the defendants from selling Nike gear and ordered AliExpress, Amazon, and eBay to turn over their account information and freeze their assets. The injunction is nearly identical to the one Nike secured. Complex reported on the temporary restraining order and defendant list before they were unsealed.
There is an unauthorized Off-White x Air Jordan 1 keychain on display in the exhibit. The image is courtesy of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Rather than actual names, the defendants are identified by store aliases (Xing Qi Store, Surpass Store, CYYTL Official Store, etc.) and URLs. This week, Nike added new defendants to the case. Previously, the brand’s lawyers said all defendants were based in China or Hong Kong.
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Screenshots of online stores with Nike-branded merchandise are included in the exhibit showing the defendants’ alleged listings. Here are some screenshots from online stores selling shoes based on the Nike Air Force 1 that make minor changes to their designs and Nike logos. K-pop artist G Dragon’s Nike collaboration from 2020 clearly appears on one page of the Air Force 1. Also, there are many more pairs that don’t closely follow existing versions of the Air Force 1, some of which have LED lights embedded in their soles.
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Other screenshots from the exhibit feature trinkets like lanyards, a neon sign made to look like an Air Jordan 1, AirPods cases, a Nike LeBron logo necklace, and an Off-White x Air Jordan 1 keychain all using unauthorized Nike trademarks.
“Defendants and their e-commerce stores do not conduct business with Nike,” wrote a lawyer for the brand when submitting the exhibit to the court, “and do not have the right or authority to use the Nike trademarks for any reason.”
Complex has uploaded the three parts of the exhibit for viewing here, here, and here.
Neither Nike nor the law firm in Illinois representing the brand responded to a request for comment. Complex reached out to the original 207 defendants this week, four of whom have replied. Their replies suggested they didn’t fully understand our questions due to a language barrier, but two of them claimed to have never sold anything Nike related in their online stores.
“I have never sold anything about Nike from my Amazon store,” wrote one of the defendants.