That was fast! A mere two days days after Nike filed a $1 million+ lawsuit against former design director Matthew Millward and Ralph Lauren Corp., accusing the two parties of breach of contract and tortious interference, the case has been settled. As of yesterday, the Oregon federal court posted a 60-day order of dismissal, noting: “the court [has] been informed by counsel for the parties that this action ahs been settled.” The settlement comes on the same day as the parties were expected in court for a hearing on Nike’s motion of a temporary restraining order, which would have prevented Millward from violating his non-compete with Nike by working for Ralph Lauren’s Club Monaco for a period of one year. Details of the settlement are being kept confidential.
According to Nike’s suit, Millward worked for Nike as a Senior Design Director in its men’s sportswear division for three years until October 6, 2015, and then accepted a job as vice president of men's design for Ralph Lauren's Club Monaco brand beginning on or about November 19, 2015, in direct violation of his one year non-compete agreement with Nike. His new role at Club Monaco allegedly involves a number of duties similar to the ones he held at Nike – including “designing the same types of apparel” – and Nike claims that “Club Monaco’s line of activewear competes directly with Nike's men's sportswear division.”
Interestingly, before taking a job at Nike, Millward served as the design director for Ralph Lauren's now-defunct collection, Rugby, where he spent upwards of two years. According to Millward's LinkedIn profile, he completed work at Polo's Ruby brand in November 2012 and that same month joined Nike.