Skip to main content

Adidas is suing Nike over its apps and Adapt sneakers

Adidas is suing Nike over its apps and Adapt sneakers

/

Adidas claims Nike’s violated nine of its tech patents

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Nike’s Adapt technology is specifically cited in the lawsuit.
Nike’s Adapt technology is specifically cited in the lawsuit.
Photo by Felicia Shivakumar / The Verge

Although Adidas and Nike have been in and out of court several times over the years, Adidas has taken it to a new level. On Friday, the company filed its first federal lawsuit against Nike, alleging that its rival infringed on nine of its patents relating to smartphone apps and adjustable shoe tech.

Initially reported by Reuters and Complex, the lawsuit pertains to a number of Nike’s digital products. Adidas claims that the Nike Run Club, Training Club, and SNKRS apps infringe its patents related to features like audio feedback during workouts, GPS tracking, training plans, integration with third-party accessories like heart rate monitors, and the ability to reserve and buy limited-edition sneakers. These are basic features on several running and fitness tracking apps, and this isn’t the first time Adidas has gone to court over it. In 2014, Adidas sued Under Armour over its Map My Fitness app. The two companies eventually settled, with Under Armour agreeing to pay Adidas a licensing fee.

The company also specifically cited its Confirmed app. Adidas introduced the app in 2015, billing it as a way to give customers insider access to its brands and exclusive sneaker releases. Nike’s SNKRS app was launched soon after and basically does the same thing for Nike’s sneakers.

Adidas Unveils Hi-Tech Sneaker
The Adidas_1 automatically adjusted the stiffness of the shoe depending on the environment or running style.
photo by Adidas via Getty Images

Adidas also named Nike’s adjustable Adapt sneakers as infringing upon the Adidas_1. The Adidas_1 were a running shoe that featured a motor inside the sole and a heel sensor to adjust the “stiffness” of the shoe in real time. Meanwhile, Nike’s Adapt technology got a lot of buzz as it reminded consumers of the self-lacing sneakers featured in the classic sci-fi film Back to the Future. The purpose of the two shoes is arguably different, however. The Adidas_1 were meant to be an all-in-one shoe for runners, while Nike’s various iterations on its Adapt sneakers were more about accessibility and comfort.

Ultimately, Adidas is seeking damages from Nike as well as a court order preventing Nike from “directly or indirectly infringing one or more” of the patents involved. Should Adidas win, that could have a potentially far-reaching impact on fitness tracking apps. As mentioned, features like GPS route tracking cited in Adidas’ suit are almost ubiquitous in apps like Strava and Runkeeper as well as companion apps for various fitness trackers like Garmin and Polar.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago Dimorphos didn’t even see it coming

T
Thomas RickerTwo hours ago
Check out this delightful DART Easter egg.

Just Google for “NASA DART.” You’re welcome.


R
Twitter
Richard Lawler12:00 AM UTC
A direct strike at 14,000 mph.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) scored a hit on the asteroid Dimorphos, but as Mary Beth Griggs explains, the real science work is just beginning.

Now planetary scientists will wait to see how the impact changed the asteroid’s orbit, and to download pictures from DART’s LICIACube satellite which had a front-row seat to the crash.


M
The Verge
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther WangSep 26
E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
Youtube
Richard LawlerSep 26
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship.

The NSA whistleblower has been living in Russia for the 9 years — first as a refugee, then on a series of temporary residency permits. He applied for Russian citizenship in November 2020, but has said he won’t renounce his status as a U.S. citizen.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 26
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.


A
External Link
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.


J
James VincentSep 26
Today, 39 years ago, the world didn’t end.

And it’s thanks to one man: Stanislav Petrov, a USSR military officer who, on September 26th, 1983, took the decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against the US. Petrov correctly guessed that satellite readings showing inbound nukes were faulty, and so likely saved the world from nuclear war. As journalist Tom Chivers put it on Twitter, “Happy Stanislav Petrov Day to those who celebrate!” Read more about Petrov’s life here.


Soviet Colonel who prevented 1983 nuclear response
Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images
J
The Verge
James VincentSep 26
Deepfakes were made for Disney.

You might have seen the news this weekend that the voice of James Earl Jones is being cloned using AI so his performance as Darth Vader in Star Wars can live on forever.

Reading the story, it struck me how perfect deepfakes are for Disney — a company that profits from original characters, fans' nostalgia, and an uncanny ability to twist copyright law to its liking. And now, with deepfakes, Disney’s most iconic performances will live on forever, ensuring the magic never dies.


E
External Link
Hurricane Fiona ratcheted up tensions about crypto bros in Puerto Rico.

“An official emergency has been declared, which means in the tax program, your physical presence time is suspended,” a crypto investor posted on TikTok. “So I am headed out of the island.” Perhaps predictably, locals are furious.