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Nike Sues Guy Who Ordered Single Pair Of Counterfeit Sneakers Over The Internet

from the nike-picks-up-the-RIAA-strategy dept

Warning: you might not want to ever buy Nike shoes again. If you accidentally buy a counterfeit pair of shoes, Nike might sue you. Via Glyn Moody, we learn that Nike chose to sue a guy who ordered a single pair of trainers online, believing they were legitimate Nike shoes. The shoes were seized at the UK border as counterfeits. Nike could have gone after the actual counterfeiters. Or it could have (perhaps more questionably) gone after some other third parties, such as the retailers who sold the shoes. Instead, it chose option 3 and sued the buyers directly. Most of the suits were settled (or, apparently, ignored).

However, one customer, a Mr. E. Bateman, thought this was ridiculous, and fought it. He pointed out that he simply thought he was buying legitimate Nikes, and it seems rather ridiculous to then be sued for it. The judge noted that, under UK trademark law, the buyer's intent is absolutely meaningless:
"Whether or not the defendant believed the goods were authentic is irrelevant to the question of trade mark infringement. Whether the goods are infringing goods or counterfeit goods is an objective question. The Defendant's state of mind does not matter. Equally the Defendant's state of mind is irrelavant to the question of importation."
In other words, don't ever buy Nike shoes, or you might get sued.

Of course, all this makes you wonder: what the hell was Nike thinking? We've seen how suing customers backfired badly for the RIAA and others, but this goes even beyond that. Here's a case where a guy appeared to believe he had just bought legitimate shoes, and Nike's response is to sue him, take him to court, and then win its lawsuit against him. The judge did point out that he "questioned whether the sledge hammer of these proceedings is necessary in order to crack this nut of this magnitude," and even then Nike pushed forward, claiming that the companies has "no realistic alternative to enforcing their rights this way."

Um. Sure they do: the alternative is not suing their customer. That said, at least the judge did not make Mr. Bateman pay any fine or award to Nike (even though Nike did ask for money), but rather, he has to promise not to infringe in the future, allow the shoes (still held by UK customs) to be destroyed and provide the details of where he bought the shoes. Of course, the only way he can make sure not to infringe in such a manner again is to never buy Nike shoes again, since he has no way of knowing beforehand if they're infringing or not. Nice work Nike.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Hulser (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:06am

    Asinine

    "Whether or not the defendant believed the goods were authentic is irrelevant to the question of trade mark infringement."

    It is? This is completely asinine. The purpose of trademark law is to protect the consumer, so how does it make any sense to sue the consumer? Is the UK trademark law really worded in such a way that it's not about consumer protection or is this yet another case where big corporations have convinced the courts that trademark is really intellectual property?

    Nike pushed forward, claiming that the companies has "no realistic alternative to enforcing their rights this way."

    This logic is just as foolish at the idea to sue the consumer. The difficulty in enforcing a law should have nothing whatsoever to do with its applicability. "Waaa! Suing the responsible party is too hard! It's easier for us to sue some poor schlub who we think will just roll over for us." Yeah, that's really convincing.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:22am

    JUST SUE IT

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:23am

    Are the conditions better in the Nike sweatshop or the counterfeit sweatshop?

     

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  4.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Re:

    can't...hit... 'funny'... enough...(or breathe from lauging)

     

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  5.  
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    ofb2632 (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:31am

    Re:

    AAWWEEE i was going to say that!!!

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:37am

    Re:

    Crap I don't get it.

     

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  7.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:38am

    but but but

    Arcara v. Cloud Books clearly shows that his defense was invalid. LOLz!!!1! I Win!!!! [/dripping sarcasm]

    Seriously, I'm glad the judge applied common sense and helped the guy not get screwed on legal technicalities. I wonder if we can get him to come over and judge in America... we need a good dose of common sense.

    I can't wait to see the fallout on this one... isn't Nike already on shaky ground from bad actions in the past?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re:

    Nike's True Mark.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:58am

    Don't EVER buy Nike again.
    Good advice.
    If I was their competitor, I would be thrilled at this. Get the guy to do a commercial.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:58am

    Re: but but but

    If by shaky ground you mean record increasing revenue and profit every year, then yes. The poplace has spoken, they like their Nike marketing so much they are willing to pay for it.

     

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  11.  
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    rabbit wise (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:58am

    Re: but but but

    Is there going to be fallout? Right now, the only source I found easily was this TD article and I still had to search for it. In order to get Mike's source article, I had to search "Nike, UK Border Agency". I'm thinking not a lot of people are randomly searching that particular word set.

    If people don't know, then there isn't any fallout.

    Sad but true.

     

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  12.  
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    Rob, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:59am

    Where do you get good deals?

    I just want to know where he got the good deal on the Nike Sneakers?

     

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  13.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re:

    "Crap I don't get it."

    The old Nike ad slogan was ...

    Just Do It!!

     

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  14.  
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    pringerX (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Re: Asinine

    What I find astounding is that the buyer's state of mind is irrelevant. Although, I would like someone to enlighten me on this question- if you inadvertently use counterfeit money because it was given to you as change by someone else, are you responsible or at fault? I seem to recall this tends to result in some sort of mitigating circumstances, or nothing at all. Or is this because civil law has lower standards than criminal law?

     

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    yogi, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Re:

    That's awesome. your future as a copywriter is assured.

     

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  16.  
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    Qritiqal (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Re:

    Hell, give the guy a lifetime supply of your own brand AND get him to do a commercial.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thanks for telling me! Now I can't stop laughing!

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:04am

    Re: Where do you get good deals?

    That's the question Nike, their lawyers, and the judge should've asked.

     

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  19.  
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    John Doe, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:05am

    Re:

    Reebok should send the guy a pair of shoes for free and make an issue of it. ;)

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    I guarantee they own both.

     

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  21.  
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    dearmarcus (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:08am

    Crazy! I once bought a fake pair of nike air force 1's from a seller on ebay. I complained to ebay, Pay-Pal and Nike and they did nothing. I guess I was lucky.

     

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  22.  
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    Johnny, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:16am

    The 4th option

    They forgot the 4th option: sue the post office. After all they are making it possible for these forged goods to reach their destination.

     

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  23.  
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    Johnny, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:23am

    Real Nikes

    Real Nikes are made buy Real Kids in the Third World.

     

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  24.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    The lesson here is don't complain about being sold fake goods, less you get sued.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re:

    Perhaps that is the real reason they have no alternative... shutting down their own counterfeiting operations would be counterproductive...

     

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  26.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Asinine

    > Although, I would like someone to enlighten me
    > on this question- if you inadvertently use
    > counterfeit money because it was given to you
    > as change by someone else, are you responsible
    > or at fault?

    As a federal agent whose particular jurisdiction is the enforcement of counterfeit currency crimes, let me reassure you that you are not legally liable for passing counterfeit that you had no reasonable way of knowing was counterfeit. There is an intent element ("knowingly") included in the statute.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:58am

    Re: The 4th option

    Sue the interblogs.

     

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  28.  
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    RobShaver (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 11:58am

    My email to Nike

    Dear Nike,

    I just read that a guy, Mr. E. Bateman, ordered what he thought were a legitimate pair of Nike trainers on-line. As it turned out they were counterfeit. Nike sued him and won. Is this true?

    If this is true then I can never buy your shoes again because I may not know if they are counterfeit or not. You must realize that is the only way I can protect myself from litigious companies such as Nike appears to be.

    Sincerely,

    Rob:-]

     

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  29.  
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    Raven, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Sadly companies start to believe that the right over rides reason and do dumbass things like suing for no good reason. I worked with a company that operated a medical non-profit that had a logo that was VAGUELY similar to that of a major movie producer. The logo had the same single letter as a major part of the logo but beyond that they were completely different. This producer sued the non profit (who served over 600,000 patients every year all over the world) and won on copywrite infringement. The non-profit was forced to pay $2.56 MILLION for sharing a letter. There was no effort on the part of the producer to offer an out of court settlement or the opportunity to change the logo. The lawyers filed and sued and got paid. If I were the producer I might actually try to tie myself closer to the company and perhaps generate some good will for myself, instead he has soured my taste of his already questionable behavior. In these days it is so easy to go to court and win because you have bigger lawyers that people often do. It is truly sad.

     

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  30.  
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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 12:08pm

    Nike is apparently getting an earfull about this...

    @ http://help-us.nike.com/app/ask

    "We are currently receiving higher than normal email volume. Our response could take up to 72 hours. For faster service please contact us via phone (1-800-806-6453) or chat."

    I know my little missive is burning a hole in their inbox.

     

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  31.  
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    pringerX (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Asinine

    btr1701:
    As a federal agent whose particular jurisdiction is the enforcement of counterfeit currency crimes, let me reassure you that you are not legally liable for passing counterfeit that you had no reasonable way of knowing was counterfeit. There is an intent element ("knowingly") included in the statute.


    Thanks for the info! That is approximately in line with my initial thoughts.

    However, in the case here, I wonder if it was presumably due to an oversight that the law lacks an intent element, or due to fundamental differences in criminal versus civil law. Anyone else care to chime in?

     

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  32.  
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    Chosen Reject, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Nike is apparently getting an earfull about this...

    Don't wait. Talk to someone right now: http://help-us.nike.com/app/chat/chat_launch

     

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  33.  
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    Just Screw It!, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    Punish the victim

    What particular statute is Mr. Bateman supposed to have violated? It doesn't say in the article - never mind, I see it's "trademark infringement", stated more clearly in the linked article.
    Well, now we all know what brand to avoid when ordering online. Thanks for the warning, Nike!
    Hopefully, if their inspired campaign succeeds, counterfeiting will eventually stop after Nike becomes so unpopular that nobody wants or dares to order them any more.
    As for Mr. Bateman, I guess they are lucky his first name isn't Patrick, or heads might roll (to the tune of "Hip To Be Square" of course...).

     

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  34.  
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    interval (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    Note to self; never buy Nike again. Ever.

    Now, in other moral lessons, another reason not to buy shoes over the internet. Not a good one, but still, add it to the list. I don't buy clothing, watches, or expensive sunglasses over the interweebs. There's just no reason to. The only stuff I order on the net is stuff I can't get here in town. Buying name labels over the net is just asking for trouble. Asian art? Sure, I do that. I can't get it here, so I go to a few web sites I've done business with before.

    A pair of levis from China? You're looking to get robbed.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Asinine

    Please explain how a federal agency 9ie US government) has anything to do with what happens in the UK government.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    Re: The 4th option

    Don't just sue - eliminate the post office, UPS, Fed Ex, etc. They allow these counterfeit goods to travel. If it weren't for them we wouldn't have the counterfeit goods problem.

    Also eliminate the printing press, phones, and television. Electricity should also be banned, because these IP owners have to do SOMETHING to protect their rights, and electrons have been involved in every single counterfeiting and infringement case.

     

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  37.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:01pm

    Good job Nike

    I will never purchase your product again.

     

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  38.  
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    Comboman (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:09pm

    What the hell?

    If the shoes were confiscated at the border, he didn't even get a chance to see the shoes he bought before he was sued. Even if he were able to tell the difference, he was never given the chance. I wonder how much Nike paid the judge?

     

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  39.  
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    lonny, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    stupid

    Nke back off. Being stupid on such a frivilous case could cost you millions. Whoever decided to go on with this case should be fired. Just the news story could cost alot in sales.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    You guys are retarded. The guy bought the shoes from an unauthorized website. If the price is to good to be true then it is! The same thing can be said about music artists and the music industry. Remember the people who were being sued because of illegal downloading? Long story short he messed up and bitched about it.

     

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  41.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    nothing of substance from chat

    W: Hi, my name is Wayne. How may I help you?
    W: Hello Ky
    Ky: Is there a press release available for the Bateman Case?
    Ky: just trying to gain all the facts before i boycott your products
    Ky: all apologies if this is the incorrect medium, none of the others are functional
    W: I am sorry but at this time, we have no comments on the issue. I am more than happy to take your feedback and get it to our Legal team though

     

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  42.  
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    PorkBellyFutures, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    Nike has a point

    Nike's point is too quickly dismissed here by the author and the commenters.

    This is the nature of trademark law: if you don't actively defend your trademark, you lose it. A lot of companies have lost trademarks because they were being too lax about protecting how it was used (e.g. aspirin and cellophane, once trademarked, became indefensible after falling into generic usage).

    So this is the state we have today. If a trade mark or trade name is of value to a company, they will sue anyone perceived to be violating it, lest a future court case is argued over the times they *didn't* sue offenders, weakening their position.

    You could argue that a case this minor would not really put their trademark at risk, but Nike's trademarks are worth (quite literally) billions of dollars. Clearly they perceive that letting minor infractions go is not worth the risk. And while they're not clearly right, they're not clearly wrong, either.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    You guys are retarded. The guy bought the shoes from an unauthorized website. If the price is to good to be true then it is! The same thing can be said about music artists and the music industry. Remember the people who were being sued because of illegal downloading? Long story short he messed up and bitched about it.

     

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  44.  
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    Not an electronic Rodent, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Asinine

    Anyone else care to chime in?
    This seems to be in UK jurisdiction and we've always had the very very dumb "ignorance is no defense in the eyes of the law" idea
    Here for example as far as I'm aware (not a policeman or lawyer) you can indeed be charged with passing bad currency for unknowingly using counterfeit notes or "receiving stolen goods" for buying something "dodgy" knowing or not or fall foul of "forced prostitution" laws if that happens to be your bag. And so on ("ringer" cars also I think)
    To my knowledge in all cases it's incumbent on the "consumer" to ensure it;s legit - hey noone said the US had the monopoly on dumbass laws.

     

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  45.  
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    PorkBellyFutures, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Re:

    @Raven: Keep in mind that copyright and trademark are very different things. You can sit on a copyright for decades and ignore it, then start suing people left and right for retroactive proceeds if your copyright was violated in the meantime.

    Trademarks are far more sensitive. If you don't actively defend one, then it is lost.

     

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  46.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Nike has a point

    I was waiting to see if this one came up.

    To show defense of a trademark, the company must take action. But nothing says that action has to come in the form of suing the customer... the least-culpable in this whole thing (despite what AC has to say about it).

    All they had to do is file a complaint against the site it was purchased from and -boom- they're defending. It doesn't have to be a successful action that results in a 'win' to qualify as defense.

     

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  47.  
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    Robert, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:31pm

    not buying nike

    so what is the problem. i for one will not be buying nike !!! what are you going to do?

     

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  48.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Nike has a point

    This is the nature of trademark law: if you don't actively defend your trademark, you lose it.

    Oh god, not this "I heard someone mention my company name in public once so I HAD to sue them to keep my trademark!" BS again. It crops up so often and it's so bogus. Nothing requires Nike to file frivolous lawsuits against innocent people to avoid losing their trademark. That's just asinine and I wish people would stop propagating it.

     

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  49.  
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    tim, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:37pm

    So who is Glyn Moody

    Okay techdirt do you know Glym Moody and is he a trusted source or just something pulled from Twitter? I have yet to see or hear that this has been confirmed from any other source such as hmmm... the court. It may be fun to get everyone's undies in a bunch, but how sure are we this is a true story?

     

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  50.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    Dont forget to boycott subsidiaries

    -Cole Haan
    -Hurley International
    -Umbro
    -Converse

    No more Chucks, brutal.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    What was the unauthorized website?

    Was the price actually lower?
    I mean if they were a good enough quality counterfeit they could have been sold for a close to normal price and not have been suspect. And even if they were really low, it could have just been advertised as being "on sale" or some bs like that.

     

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  52.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:41pm

    summary judgment for those who cant be bothered to traverse two links deep.

    http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWPCC/2010/10.html

     

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  53.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:41pm

    Re:

    Can we change the "Anonymous Coward" tag to "Anonymous Troll"?

    unauthorized website

    What is an "unauthorized" website? Any website not affiliated with Nike directly? Amazon? Is eBay "authorized"?

    If the price is to good to be true then it is!

    How good does it have to be to be too good to be true? Tell you what: You give me data on the "too good to be true" price point for anything and everything sold over the internet, so I can make sure I don't get a frivolous lawsuit dumped on me (If you want, you can be topical and start with a list of all Nike shoe models and their respective price points). Thanks, anon troll!

    Long story short he messed up and bitched about it.

    Long story short, you either forgot your sarcasm tags or you're an idiot of epic proportions. I won't say publicly which one I'd put money on.

     

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  54.  
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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:49pm

    Re: So who is Glyn Moody

    TAM? Is that you? Have you finally decided to start posting your tripe again?

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:54pm

    An unauthorized website is a website that Nike has not allowed to sell their products. If you see a pair of jordan's for $10 and you think your getting a deal that's your mistake.

     

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  56.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 1:56pm

    Re:

    Did I miss something? Does eBay need Nike's permission for me to sell my 'new-in-box' sneakers? Amazon too? Interesting.

     

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  57. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    That exactly what an unauthorized website is. A site that is not affilitated or has permision to sell nike items.
    Ebay if you didnt know is notorious for selling fake items. UK law states that it does not matter the mans state of mind when he purchased the shoe.
    Counterfit shoes are the same as illegal downloading. They are both fake versions and you do not have the permission of the company.
    Fuck Moody and fuck who he rolls with. And if youre down with Moody Fuck you too!!!

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    That exactly what an unauthorized website is. A site that is not affilitated or has permision to sell nike items.
    Ebay if you didnt know is notorious for selling fake items. UK law states that it does not matter the mans state of mind when he purchased the shoe.
    Counterfit shoes are the same as illegal downloading. They are both fake versions and you do not have the permission of the company.
    Fuck Moody and fuck who he rolls with. And if youre down with Moody Fuck you too!!!

     

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  59.  
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    Joe Downer, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 2:02pm

    At this rate?

    You may be more right than wrong. First Sale is under attack, so you might not only need Nike's permission to sell the shoes, but they'll take 10% off the top.

     

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  60.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 2:07pm

    Re:

    An unauthorized website is a website that Nike has not allowed to sell their products

    Which is who? Or did you mean that you have to get permission from Nike before you can sell their stuff? If so, where did you hear such nonsense?

    If you see a pair of jordan's for $10

    Did he actually buy them for $10? What if he bought them for $100 and they were counterfeit? Can he still be sued? What if the seller claimed they were used? Is $10 still too little for a used pair of Nikes?

    Are you still an idiot who spouts off ignorant garbage on the internet? Wait, I know the answer to that last one . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 2:10pm

    Re:

    Who let you out of your room? You'd better get back there before they make you take extra meds tonight!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    Frawg (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 2:21pm

    For those that want to know..

    if you follow this link and read the article, then you will know the website in question.
    On top of that, if you go to Internic and do a Whois search on that website, it shows good old GoDaddy (which I happen to love) as the Internic-Registered owner of the domain...however..
    Go to Godaddy and do a whois from them reveals the person(s) that actually hold the domain listing from them.

    Now, what else can I do for you today? :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 2:32pm

    Re: If the price is to good to be true then it is!

    So what would be considered a reasonable price range for Nike goods, below which the alarm bells should go off?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    icon
    pringerX (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Asinine

    Very good point, I missed that the entire thing is going down in the UK. In which case, US law is not pertinent to British law, but it is still worthwhile to examine how things might have played out in the US. Thanks for pointing out my error!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    Jeremy7600 (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm pretty sure its not a requirement to defend trademarks, I think that has been pointed out on this site before. Its not part of the law. They are simply advised to do so as it is their best chance to protect them. (Paraphrased from another site during a google search)

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 3:29pm

    ALL NIKE SHOES ARE COUNTERFEIT

    There is one simple assumption that one must make after reading this story- ALL Nike shoes are counterfeit. It is simple and will keep you out of court.

    I used to love Rebok but their arches fell and the really high high tops are hard to find in stores.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    JT, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re: but but but

    Unfortunately, even if people do know, there still won't be any fallout, aside from the microscopic percentage of the population that actually gives a shit what type of company they are giving their money to. In this country most people have set a very low price tag on their convictions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Paul`, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 4:34pm

    .... How does that make any sense whatsoever? The whole reason for trade mark laws isn't to protect a companies bottom line but to protect consumers from being swindled into buying counterfeit goods.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 4:59pm

    Yep...Off the Meds again.

    You can tell when they start stuttering.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Re: Nike is apparently getting an earfull about this...

    As long as right now is Monday - Sunday: 06:00 AM - 04:00 PM PST

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    I got a non-answer via e-mail as well.

    Here it is:

    I understand your concerns.

    We do not have any information about this issue, but I would be happy to share your feedback with the rest of our team.

    Best Regards,

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 6:47pm

    Re:

    You guys are retarded. The guy bought the shoes from an unauthorized website. If the price is to good to be true then it is!

    I need your help...I bought Asics from a website that looks like a reputable website (Amazon.com), and I paid the same price I would for a pair of Asics at other websites. Can you tell me whether I bought the real ones or not? I mean, all the websites sure look the same, and they all seem to have a similar price. And most of them say something to the effect that they are authorized dealers of Asics...how am I to know that they just didn't slap the "authorized dealer" symbol on their site and charge me the same price for knock-off Asics?

    Also, since you obviously seem to be more intelligent than the rest of us, can you also tell me whether I should trust Amazon.com and Apple iTunes to be authorized websites for music and movies? I really cannot tell, since they tend to look a lot like all the other unauthorized websites.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    Vibius, Dec 16th, 2010 @ 7:05pm

    Re: Asinine

    Since when did any of our laws truly protect the consumer. Corporations rule.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 1:16am

    New business opportunity?

    Thinking about this and the fabulous UK law that doesn't take intent or circumstance into account I think I see a new business model for a protection racket: Write to a bunch of teens and young adults with a copy of the judgement and a note that says "Send £10 to this address or I'll send you a pair of Nike... and you'll never know when they'll come for you." Millionaire's row here I come.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    icon
    Christopher (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 1:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Asinine

    Rodent hits the nail on the head. The 'intent' behind something doing something illegal is very very very rarely taken into account in Great Britain because their laws are written in asinine ways.

    Thankfully, in the United States, in civil law at least, intent IS taken into account.... if you buy something illegal without knowing it was illegal (even if it appears to be a 'too good to be true' thing), you are not held responsible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 2:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Asinine

    The 'intent' behind something doing something illegal is very very very rarely taken into account in Great Britain because their laws are written in asinine ways
    In some cases the idea sort of makes sense - should someone really get away with murder (or manslaughter at least) if their defense is "I was too dumb to know that the gun I was waving around was loaded"? - but it's not a like a "stolen good" comes with a label on that says "I'm stolen", even if it's postcode marked should it really be incumbent on you to check out a (non existant) stolen goods registry or track down the phone number for the postcode and ring to check when you buy something second hand? And lots of "knockoffs" are as good if not better than the original - hell there's probably a good chance they're made by the same chinese 8 year old working his second shift in the factory down the road from the Nike one.

    Oh and to answer someone else's trollish point, I do indeed own a pair of Nike trainers that were bought entirely legally for $15 and another that were bought also entirely legally for £20.
    The "standard" price for Nike trainers being currently around £60-£80 for the cheapest in shops in England, as previously asked, exactly what price is "too good to be true" for each shoe in their line please?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 4:24am

    Re: Nike has a point

    "This is the nature of trademark law: if you don't actively defend your trademark, you lose it."

    Indeed. Which is why the question being asked is this: why are they not going after the people who violated their copyrights and trademarks, rather than an innocent bystander? How is buying a pair of counterfeit shoes more in violation of those laws than producing, advertising and selling them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Paul Keating, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 4:42am

    Where is the Use in Commerce

    I cannot understand how a consumer who purchased the product could be liable in any manner. Trademarks afford protection as against infringement. The act of infringement is in manufacturing or selling a product using the mark owned by another. Here the consumer was BUYING a product for his own use.

    This makes me believe that the underlying case was not based upon trademark infringement but on a separate law that prohibited the importation of infringing goods. I assume that the consumer purchased the product from someone outside of the UK and had it shipped to him. Who was the actual importer?

    Not that I have ever been a Nike fan but I know that I now will never purchase their product.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 5:38am

    Re:

    mmm... fresh can of troll-food here...

    "That exactly what an unauthorized website is. A site that is not affilitated or has permision to sell nike items.
    Ebay if you didnt know is notorious for selling fake items."
    Again, show me where every website who makes available product has to have permission to do so. If I buy stuff in bulk, it's mine... I can resell it if I want.

    And let's get something straight: Ebay does not sell counterfiet goods... they don't sell anything... users on Ebay may sometimes sell counterfeit goods. Huge difference.


    "Counterfit shoes are the same as illegal downloading."
    Wrong! but thanks for playing. Counterfeit is trademark infringement, illegal download is copyright infringment.


    "Fuck Moody and fuck who he rolls with. And if youre down with Moody Fuck you too!!!"
    Thanks for joining us here on Antique Troll-Show. And here, ladies and gentleman, we see this wonderful example of a troll-post has been finished with an ad-hominim attack. It's rare to see one in such clear and shining condition. It's a real treasure and I'm glad you brought this out... if this opinion went to auction, I'd say - conservatively - it'd be worth about ~thinks a second~ a sack of shit. Maybe two!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    Not an electronic Rodent, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 5:58am

    Re: Where is the Use in Commerce

    I cannot understand how a consumer who purchased the product could be liable in any manner.
    That's probably because you are labouring under the hoplessly idealistic assumption that Trademark is based on the premise of protecting the consumer from being duped by "counterfeit goods" instead of it being another stick for any company with enough money to use to do the corporate equivalent of "demanding money with menaces".

    Just guessing :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    PorkBellyFutures, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re: Nike has a point

    It's not about a requirement, it's about measuring risk. The more you let go trademark infringement, the more likely it becomes that you will lose a judgment in the future against somebody who is more substantially infringing. If you are a lawyer who works for Nike, you call this erring on the side of safety.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    PorkBellyFutures, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re: Nike has a point

    Another point almost nobody on this thread is recognizing is that he wasn't sued for buying the goods, he was sued for importing them. If this had been a local purchase rather than from a foreign website he apparently would have been fine. The law prevents the importation of trademark-infringing goods, so Nike might have been setting a tricky precedent in declining to go after importers -- this might come back to bite them if they later sued a commercial importer of counterfeit goods.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 8:01am

    Nike

    I live in Oregon and that SFB's owner is a sheister mofo and isn't worth spit. I quit buying those damn overpriced chinese made pos years ago and thank god my kids never jumped on the pt gear fashion wear. I still see moron kids in my pos town wear em like there everyday wear,and they look like fckn dumb asses just like the parents who use their kids to hawk their monatary status by buying such crap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Vic, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 9:08am

    They could sue me naked

    I've lived in China. They, Nike and friends, could sue me naked. Which brings up the shan zhai idea that some of Nike's suppliers might not be completely straight forward. It's possible that Nike could be sued because a supplier swapped in non-Nike stuff in Nike shoes. Eg Nike's logic might be extended to 'hot' non-Nike shoelaces that somebody faked and sold to a supplier.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 9:40am

    Re: Nike is apparently getting an earfull about this...

    Got my response. Apparently Nike is employing the "Sgt. Shultz" PR strategy:

    From Nike: (Jennifer) - 12/16/2010 03:32 PM
    Hi,

    I understand your concerns.

    We do not have any information about this issue, but I would be happy to share your feedback with the rest of our team.

    Best Regards,

    Jennifer
    Nike

    PR to English translation: "I know noth--ing!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 11:01am

    Re: nothing of substance from chat

    I got a tad more info:

    Jeffery: Hi, my name is Jeffery. How may I help you?
    Church Tucker: Hey, I've heard that you guys are suing people who inadvertently buy counterfeit Nikes. Is this true?
    Jeffery: We do not have any information on this.
    Church Tucker: There's a guy named Bateman in the UK who ordered a pair of what he thought were genuine Nikes, and was sued over it. I can send you a link.
    Jeffery: That is ok. I am unable to shed any light on this, even if I had a link, everything I know would be what you know, based on that link.
    Church Tucker: Yeah, but you're Nike. You don't know what you're doing?
    Jeffery: I am going to be support for Nike.com as far as orders, products, etc.
    Church Tucker: OK, so whom do I talk to in order to make sure I'm not going to be sued if the Nikes I purchase turn out to not be genuine?
    Jeffery: I would send an email to corporate. That way they can advise you correctly on this issue. Let me grab you that contact information.
    Church Tucker: K
    Church Tucker: Do you have a contact in Legal?
    Jeffery: I am going to have the information for our corporate team directly. They are going to be the ones to advise from here.

    1-800-344-6453 is the number.
    Jeffery: http://help-us.nike.com/app/ask/session/L3NpZC9hUjRmUExoaw%3D%3D is the email link.
    Church Tucker: Thanks, Jeffery. Do pass along that I'm worried about buying Nikes at this point.
    Jeffery: I would be more than happy to submit that feedback for you.
    Church Tucker: Take care.
    Jeffery: You too!
    Jeffery has disconnected.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    kezza, Dec 17th, 2010 @ 4:23pm

    naughty nike

    while looking for an email address to advise nike that i would never touch a product of theirs again (and advise all i know to do the same) i came across this article. now who would have thought......

    http://www.oxfam.org.au/explore/workers-rights/nike

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 17th, 2010 @ 7:16pm

    Re: Re: nothing of substance from chat

    Incidentally, if you try the above email link, you currently get:

    "We are currently receiving higher than normal email volume. Our response could take up to 72 hours. For faster service please contact us via phone (1-800-806-6453) or chat."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    identicon
    alternatives(), Dec 18th, 2010 @ 12:38am

    Re:

    Counterfit shoes are the same as illegal downloading.

    When once makes a copy of software - the person/place you got the copy from still has what you copied.

    In the case of shoes, if I have the shoes, the person/place I got them from no longer has that pair of shoes.

    you do not have the permission of the company.

    Yes master! We'd be do noting to displease you master!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2010 @ 1:15am

    No question this makes Nike look bad.
    If you look at the court's judgment however, and do a bit of digging, you see that Nike was represented by a Mr. Mark Elmslie, who "heads up the contentious IP team at Hewitsons LLP in Cambridge, England".

    Now seeing that Nike corporate team is experienced, and has a history of having successfully navigated worse public relations issues than this one, it is hard to imagine that a Nike executive examined the facts and said, "Yeah, I think its a great idea to go after this Bateman guy!"

    Much more likely is that the Nike is guilty of failing to pay close attention to what the hired help in the UK (Hewitsons) has been up to.

    Looking back at the court documents, we see that Nike received a summary judgment in their favor, but the only relief the judge granted Nike was the right to destroy that single pair of shoes, and to extract a promise from Mr. Bateman that he would never do it again. No financial penalty was imposed on Mr. Bateman.

    Essentially, for their trouble, Nike was awarded a cheap pair of counterfeit shoes .
    One may reasonably suspect that Mr. Elmslie got paid his usual hourly fee however.
    Mr. Mark Elmslie has coauthored a book on intellectual property, and has written many articles on the subject, so perhaps Mr. Elmslie would be willing to publish his explanation of how the pursuit of Mr. Bateman furthered Nike's intellectual property strategy. And since he would be representing Nike, no doubt he would be able to use this time to add to his billable hours.
    In addition, I would also be curious to know if Mr. Elmslie has ever vetted his ideas about IP enforcement with the marketing and accounting departments of the corporate clients he represents to ensure that his strategies produce the desired financial gains.

    In case it is not convenient for him to write here, these and other questions may be addressed to Mr. Elmslie at markelmslie@hewitsons.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    icon
    Philly Bob (profile), Dec 18th, 2010 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Asinine

    If you use counterfeit money.... YES, you are responsible and can and will be arrested and charged. At least here in the US.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Jeffro Troll, Dec 19th, 2010 @ 8:35am

    Comment 86

    That one Jeff Guy from Nike on Comment 86 sounds sexy. That is my type of man.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2010 @ 4:40pm

    I will never buy a Nike Product again. Under any circumstances.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2010 @ 7:39pm

    Anonymous Coward is a beevis fan and his team got clown-stomped AGAIN by the Ducks. Of course he hates Nike.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Dec 20th, 2010 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Asinine

    In some cases the idea sort of makes sense - should someone really get away with murder (or manslaughter at least) if their defense is "I was too dumb to know that the gun I was waving around was loaded"?

    You can't just say "I didn't know" and get off. You have to convince a judge or jury that it was reasonable for you not to know. If they judge that a reasonable person would have known that the gun was or might have been loaded, you're still on the hook.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  96.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 10:40am

    Re: Asinine

    We appreciate your concern regarding customers who have purchased counterfeit Nike products. We value our customers.

    We want to reassure you it is not our policy or intention to take legal action against customers who unknowingly buy counterfeit product for their own use. We work hard to stop the flow of counterfeit goods, to protect both the integrity of our brand and our consumers. If customs authorities seize counterfeit product, we will work within local law to have the product destroyed. In some countries, that can be done without the consent of the purchaser. In other countries, the consent of the purchaser -- or failing that, a court order -- is required. We resort to getting a court order only if the customer refuses to allow the product to be destroyed.

    The article you refer to does omit some important information relevant to this particular case including the amount of counterfeit footwear the consumer had, as well as his refusal to abandon the goods. The consumer subsequently had a second shipment intercepted by customs containing additional pairs of counterfeit footwear.
    We feel strongly that catching and destroying counterfeit product is the right thing to do. We recommend that everyone purchase Nike product from a trusted retailer or website. That is the best assurance that the product is genuine. Please visit www.nikestore.com to find a listing of legitimate retailers near you.

    Again, thank you for your time.

    Best Regards,

    Jennifer
    Nike

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  97.  
    identicon
    Anon, Dec 27th, 2010 @ 8:54pm

    Thinking about this a little bit I can kind of see why it would be beneficial for Nike to have pressed ahead with the case. The fallout as mentioned is extremely limited due to hardly anybody knowing about it in the first place, and as mentioned previously if people have been won over by the marketing and ignore the sweatshops and labour conditions of workers then I don't think a single person getting sued is any reason to prevent them from buying genuine Nike merchandise. What this does do however is instil some fear inside those who are not only actively selling counterfeit goods, but also buying them. Previously people may have thought that as long as they are not the ones selling the goods they are in the clear, and although that may be the case most the time this may prevent those would-be counterfeit buyers from going ahead with their purchase. If Nike can prevent a few of these sales from going ahead, where the buyer knowingly purchases counterfeits (let's be honest in a lot of cases it is quite obvious) then they have dented the counterfeiting business by a small amount and perhaps benefited their own business. Now I realise this point may contradict with what I've said previously, in terms of exposure of this case it isn't exactly a main headline, but even if it was the fallout would be so minimal and the gains more enticing for Nike to go ahead with the case.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2011 @ 1:24am

    Re: Re: Asinine

    So, wait a minute, the Nike PR Rep is saying that the actual court documents omit information about the case? What?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99.  
    identicon
    ike, Jan 7th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

    he has to promise not to infringe in the future

    How ironic that he must pledge his intent not to infringe when intent is irrelevant.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  100.  
    identicon
    Common Sense, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Inconvenient Fact

    What I find hilarious is the writer of this somehow failed to make the connection that this was not a Nike customer. If it WERE a Nike customer he would have been buying Nike's. Instead, he decided to save a few bucks and use a counterfeit website to do his shopping. I guess there's always a price for cutting corners.

    Lessons I learned from this article...

    1.) Don't buy bloggers uninformed BS.
    2.) If you want to buy from a company, buy from the company itself or a reputable retail outlet instead of a shady knock-off website.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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