OG Post 08.28.21 // Nike has been relentless in its mission to shut down designers who they feel are piggybacking off their trademarked designs. The famous case of Warren Lotas was only the start, with the Swoosh hunting down customizers large and small with undoubtedly fearsome lawsuits. The next in Nike’s crosshairs is fashion designer John Geiger — a man who’s clearly not going to back down from the big wigs in Beaverton.
Despite the fact that others, including The Shoe Surgeon, copy designs entirely, Nike Inc. has gone after Geiger and his Air Force 1-inspired GF-01 sneaker, regardless of the significant changes made to its design. In a post to his Instagram, Geiger has issued a statement claiming that Nike has been benefiting from the customizer and bespoke sneaker community, and is prepared to fight the lawsuit.
Geiger was at the forefront of the bespoke sneaker customization that started years ago, most notably known for his “Misplaced Checks” Nike Air Force 1 High, and also his contribution to the design process of the Nike Zoom Revis which dropped in 2012.
“Misplaced Checks” Nike Air Force 1 Custom via @johngeiger_
He also states that there is no secret that his GF-01 was inspired by the Nike Air Force 1, but significant changes and redesigns have resulted in his own trademarks. To continue that clarity, Geiger states that he’ll be transparent and vocal about what happens with the future of the lawsuit.
Sean Davis, CEO and founding partner of John Geiger LLC. also commented on his intentions of moving forward in this dispute. “A lot of people in our position would seek the most inexpensive and easiest path for conflict resolution,” Davis says. “But in this scenario, John and I welcome the opportunity to defend our brand, and we look forward to seeing this lengthy process through.”
Take a look at some examples of his GF-01 silhouette below, and we’ll aim to keep this article updated with more news as it develops.Update 08.31.22 The Nike vs John Geiger saga has ended amicably. The sportswear company and designer John Geiger issued a joint statement today announcing that Nike’s trade dress infringement lawsuit, filed in August 2021, has been resolved.
“Nike and John Geiger have resolved the lawsuit related to Nike’s Air Force 1 trade dress and John Geiger’s footwear products, specifically his GF-01 shoes,” reads the joint statement. “The lawsuit has been resolved through amicable resolution that includes a consent judgement. As part of the resolution, John Geiger has agreed to modify the design of his GF-01 shoes. Nike respects John Geiger as a designer and other designers like him, and both parties are pleased to resolve this dispute in a way that allows John Geiger to continue to build his brand while also respecting Nike’s intellectual property rights in its iconic Air Force 1 trade dress.”