USPS & Nike Resolve Discord Over Heavily-Inspired Sneakers
By Mikelle Leow, 06 May 2021
Image via Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com
The US Postal Service just did it. After calling out Nike for designing USPS-inspired Air Force 1 Experimental sneakers without its consent and initiating legal action last month, the postal service has found common ground with the sportswear giant on the matter. It is officially licensing the themed footwear, and everyone wins.
The Air Force 1’s muse speaks for itself. Its upper is emblazoned with a pattern uncannily similar to the USPS’ Priority Mail packaging, and its heel features a label much like the postal service’s shipping labels.
The USPS has released a statement regarding Nike's "USPS" Air Force 1 Experimental, announcing its plans to "take whatever actions it deems necessary to protect its valuable IP rights"— Modern Notoriety (@ModernNotoriety) April 2, 2021
Sound familiar? https://t.co/ULCQEtnw5R pic.twitter.com/X4F8iWG7II
Interestingly, the USPS lambasted Nike about the unauthorized sneakers before the latter could even announce them (till today, the shoes haven’t officially been unveiled yet). It got word of them through leaked images that were circulating online.
“This is an unfortunate situation where a large brand such as Nike, which aggressively protects its intellectual property, has chosen to leverage another brand for its gain,” the USPS responded then. “The Postal Service is disappointed in Nike’s lack of response to repeated attempts to come to a solution.” It also criticized Nike for its double standards, as the images of the sneakers had surfaced in the height of the Satan Shoes controversy, which saw Nike coming after Lil Nas X and MSCHF for launching Air Max 7 footwear with satanic motifs.
The USPS justified in a now-deleted statement that it “receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations, protect its intellectual property.”
Thankfully, the USPS has now confirmed that the two have settled out of court and that it has licensed the upcoming Nike sneakers. In a new statement, it wrote, “The US Postal Service and NIKE, Inc. are pleased to announce they have come to a resolution on the upcoming release of Nike footwear inspired by the US Postal Service. The Experimental Nike Air Force 1 footwear are officially licensed by the U.S. Postal Service. Any early images of this shoe were not authorized for release by Nike.”
Given that the USPS had no earlier say in the sneakers, there’s a chance that Nike will return to the drawing board to update the design.
Nike and USPS have agreed to a settlement on the mail-themed Air Force 1 Experimental 📝— JustFreshKicks (@JustFreshKicks) May 5, 2021
The shoes will officially be licensed by the U.S. Postal Service. pic.twitter.com/apxFzfNVZy
[via Input and WWD, cover image via Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com]
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