Reebok Sues Rival Nike For Patent Infringement

Tuesday, 3 Apr 2007 | 4:23 PM ET

Reebok International said on Tuesday it filed a lawsuit against Nike in federal court in Texas, accusing its rival of patent infringement in connection with Reebok's collapsible shoe technology.

Reebok said in the complaint that a number of its rival's shoes infringe upon Reebok's patented flexible sole technology, which also allows shoes to be collapsed for travel or for packaging.

Nike products cited by Reebok in the complaint include the "Free," "Free Flex," "Free Zen & Now," "Free Trainer," and "Free Trail" men's and women's shoes.

"We are evaluating the claims related to this very recently issued U.S. patent and any potential limited application to the successful Nike Free product," a Nike spokesman told CNBC.

The suit claims that despite Reebok's patent protection, Nike "willfully and intentionally" developed shoes that use Reebok's technology, Reebok said in a release.

Reebok is a division of Germany's Adidas.

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