Two 900 lb Gorillas Drop the Gloves

There’s yet another patent infringement suit on the tape. This one is Nike and Wal*Mart – and predicting the outcome is a slam dunk.

Nike is suing Wal*Mart for patent infringement as it relates to its Shox design. So many of these cases are in the gray area that could really go either way – but this one is a no brainer. Check out the image below. The interesting thought here is whether or not Nike brought this upon itself when it bought Starter and took the product to Wal*Mart at reduced price points on shared Nike designs. One could argue that perhaps Nike gave Wal*Mart a taste of improved profit offering before it pulled the plug, and WMT wants to keep the torch lit. You can just as easily argue that WMT attempted to stick it to Nike by selling replicas of Nike Shox at $13 – an 80% price cut from the real McCoy. Either way, the McCoy is, in fact, real.

Nike will probably end up netting $50-$100mm in a settlement out of this one (similar to recent Adidas and Payless precedents), but more importantly it will have its designs yanked out of WMT