Los Angeles-based designer Warren Lotas has been catching heat in the sneaker community recently over his Jason Dunk designs. These shoes look similar to highly coveted Nike SB Dunks, with the main difference being that the traditional Swoosh is modified to look like a Jason Voorhees mask. Nike has caught wind of this and is now suing Warren Lotas over the design.
As reported by the Los Angeles Daily News, the trademark lawsuit states that Warren Lotas is promoting and selling a shoe that is “confusingly similar” to the Nike Dunk. “Warren Lotas only recently announced these sneakers, but there is already confusion in the marketplace regarding whether they are legitimate customizations or illegal fakes,” reads the complaint. “Warren Lotas intentionally created the confusion, and he is attempting to capitalize on it, by, among other things, using Nike’s registered Dunk word mark, using Nike’s registered Dunk trade dress, and using a mark that is confusingly similar to Nike’s famous Swoosh design to promote and sell his fakes.”
Nike is seeking to have a Los Angeles federal judge order an immediate stop to the manufacture and sale of these shoes, plus damages and “any and all profits earned as a result of WL’s acts in violation of Nike’s rights.”
The Warren Lotas Jason Dunk design first released in a small run last year with a colorway inspired by the 2007 Jason Voorhees Dunk High. Following a successful launch, Lotas released knockoffs of the Heineken, Stussy, and Staple Pigeon, the latter which was co-signed by Jeff Staple himself. Production grew with each release, with an alleged 25,000 pairs preordered on the Staple Pigeon design.
If things weren’t bad enough, Warren Lotas has also caught flack for his apparel. As pointed out by sockjig, the mockups of the apparel that he sells and the final product that gets delivered can vary, leaving some customers dissatisfied.
On latest Sockjig Sneaker Podcast, I talk about how Warren Lotas sells products based on mockups, but end product looks different. Left is the mockup of the WeaponX tee he sold, and right is what he delivered with lots of complaints on the IG post. Listen: https://t.co/TjlTgUq9Qq pic.twitter.com/PVLBfuwwGx
— sockjig (@sockjig) October 5, 2020
There are many designers like Warren Lotas out there creating their own version of the Dunk and Air Jordan 1, though it is unlikely that Nike will go after each one. They are small fish compared to Lotas, and Lotas will most likely be used as an example to deter others from profiting off the Swoosh’s designs. We’ll see how this plays out though.