At the beginning of March, images of a Nike Air Force 1 Experimental that seemed to draw obvious inspiration from the U.S. Postal Service’s familiar Priority Mail shipping boxes and envelopes with its white/blue/red color scheme and heel “shipping label” started surfacing online. Though many sneaker lovers found it to be humorous, especially seeing as Nike usually ships with UPS, the Postal Service was not pleased.
A public relations representative for the organization recently provided HYPEBEAST with a statement that notes it was not consulted on the sneaker, and it aimed to protect its “valuable IP rights.”
The Nike Air Force 1 “USPS” Experimental shoe is neither licensed nor otherwise authorized by the U.S. Postal Service.
The Postal Service, which receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations, protects its intellectual property. Officially licensed products sold in the marketplace expand the affinity for the Postal Service brand and provide incremental revenue through royalties that directly support it. Sales of unauthorized and unlicensed products deny support to the hardworking women and men of the Postal Service.
This is an unfortunate situation where a large brand such as Nike, which aggressively protects its own intellectual property, has chosen to leverage another brand for its own gain. The Postal Service is disappointed in Nike’s lack of response to repeated attempts to come to a solution. The Postal Service will take whatever actions it deems necessary to protect its valuable IP rights.
Serendipitously, this statement arrives at the same time that Nike is suing creative studio MSCHF over its Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes,” created in partnership with musician Lil Nas X. Though MSCHF was clear to note that Nike is not involved with the “Satan Shoes” in any way, shape or form — the Brooklyn-based brand legally purchased the 666 pairs of the black Air Max 97 that the design is based on — Nike claimed that MSCHF’s “unauthorized” shoes are “likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike” and even took an early victory in court.
In recent months, the Swoosh has also taken legal action against designer Warren Lotas for his “Reaper” sneakers, a silhouette that was inspired heavily by the SB Dunk Low.
At the time of writing, this AF1 has yet to arrive to market or receive an official release date. Stay tuned for more info as the story unfolds.
In the meantime, feast your eyes on Jordan Brand’s Summer 2021 retro collection.