Adidas has been handed an unfavorable ruling in the patent infringement lawsuit it filed against Skechers, alleging that its fellow footwear brandwillfully infringed two patents related to adidas’ Springblade design – a four-year-old design whose midsole includes blades are meant to help propel runners forward – with its similar “Mega Flex” shoe.
In refusing to grant adidas’ request for a preliminary injunction this week, Judge Michael Simon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, a federal court in Portland, held that Skechers did not willfully infringe adidas’ patents with its own “Mega Blade” design and that it is not facing harm that gives rise to the need for such a remedy.
According to Judge Simon, “Adidas’s evidence of irreparable injury is too conclusory and speculative,” and the company “fails to make a persuasive showing that the Mega Blade shoe has had an appreciable adverse effect on the Springblade shoe.”
Additionally, Judge Simon “put the case on hold so the U.S. Patent and Trial Appeals Board (“PTAB”) could consider related issues,” per Reuters. Currently pending before the PTAB are two Inter Partes Review proceedings, in which Skechers is challenging the validity of patent claims of two existing adidas patents for the Springblade design based on existing patents and printed publications.
* The case is Adidas America Inc et al v Skechers USA Inc, U.S. District Court, District of Oregon, No. 16-01400.