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Nigo And His BAPE Shoe

BAPE Sneakers Source: Gregory Bojorquez / Getty

After 20 years of sneakerheads wondering why Nike hasn’t sued Bape, the lawsuit has come to fruition.

Nike has been flexing its legal fingers as of late towards brands making similar-style sneakers in the marketplace. With sneaker culture bigger than ever, creatives have started putting their own spin on models such as the Nike Dunk, Air Jordan 1, and Air Force One.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that their unique designs don’t come without consequences.

As news of the lawsuits has continued to surface, several people have wondered; “Why haven’t they sued BAPE?” Well, now here’s your answer.

Someone in the Nike office apparently heard the chatter and the sneaker giant has officially sued BAPE. The alleged knockoff sneakers have been in the marketplace for almost 20 years and co-existed with Nike.

The brand has touched up its Bapestas sneakers over the years but Nike seems to think their latest design crossed the line. When it comes to why they waited so long to sue over the shoes, the legal documents revealed that they met with BAPE in 2009 seeking a redesign. From that meeting, BAPE indeed did redesign the shoes, stopped U.S. activities, and closed most US stores. Bape’s 2021 re-design of the sneaker however is when Nike claims BAPE “drastically increased the volume and scope of its infringement” and also allegedly refused to stop sales when asked, reports Reuters which obtained a copy of the lawsuit.

“BAPE’s copying is and always has been unacceptable to Nike, and because BAPE’s infringements have recently grown to become a significant danger to Nike’s rights, Nike must act now,” the lawsuit said.


The Nike lawsuit marks a milestone in the sneaker wars and will be interesting to see play out in court.


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