By John Presper

On January 10, 2022, the ITC issued a Notice of Investigation in Certain Knitted Footwear (Inv. No. 337-TA-1289).

By way of background, this investigation is based on a December 8, 2021 complaint (Part I, Part II) filed by Nike, Inc. of Beaverton, Oregon. (“Nike”) alleging violations of section 337 by Respondents adidas AG of Germany; adidas North America, Inc. of Portland, Oregon; and adidas America, Inc. of Portland, Oregon (collectively, “adidas”) in the unlawful importation/sale of certain knitted footwear by reason of infringement of certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 9,918,511; U.S. Patent No. 9,743,705; U.S. Patent No. 8,266,749; U.S. Patent No. 7,814,598; U.S. Patent No. 9,060,562; and U.S. Patent No. 8,898,932.

According to the complaint, the asserted patents are directed to articles of footwear that incorporate at least one textile or knitted component—such as uppers created using Nike’s Flyknit knitting technology—that “excels in performance, design and aesthetics while reducing materials and waste.”  The accused products are knitted footwear made by adidas, including its Primeknit footwear products and footwear products that include Primeknit elements.  Nike is requesting that the Commission issue a limited exclusion order and permanent cease-and-desist orders directed to adidas.  According to the Notice of Investigation, the Office of Unfair Import Investigations will not participate as a party in the investigation.  Lastly, Acting Chief ALJ Clark S. Cheney issued a notice indicating that ALJ Monica Bhattacharyya will preside in the investigation.