Nike Has Finally Settled Its Lawsuit With A Bathing Ape

When Nigo unleashed the first A Bathing Ape BAPESTA back in 2002, it released at a time when American sneakers weren’t readily available in Japan. Back then, the Nike Air Force 1 was a holy grail amongst Japanese sneakerheads, and the only way you could acquire a pair was if you had the money to travel to the western world for them, or if your plug was based outside of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Obviously, a lot has changed in the past two decades and you can now cop AF1s at pretty much every trainer store in Tokyo. But BAPESTAs? Well, over the years they’ve gained themselves quite the cult following. Essentially, they were seen as the Uptowns you bought if you were a little rebellious and wanted something a little different. Kanye West had a few pairs, and so did Lil Wayne. In fact, Soulja Boy even released a track called “Bapes” in 2007 as a homage to them.

Nike is well aware of this, so in January 2023, they announced that they were finally cracking down on the BAPESTA as well as the Harajuku label’s other dupes. The lawsuit claimed that “BAPE’s current footwear business revolves around copying Nike’s iconic designs.” The legal documents also showed images of five of A Bathing Ape’s best-sellers – the BAPESTA, the BAPESTA Mid, the SK8STA, the COURTSTA, and the COURTSTA High – and how they are “near verbatim copies” of the American sportswear company’s models.

After over a year of back and forth, earlier this week, the Swoosh finally settled its trademark infringement lawsuit. According to a new filing in New York City’s Southern District Court, the two parties ended the dispute in a “stipulated dismissal.” As part of the resolution, A Bathing Ape has now agreed that it will discontinue the production of its BAPESTA Mid, COURTSTA, and COURTSTA High silhouettes, and it will also redesign its BAPESTA and SK8STA sneakers.

The idea of large conglomerates going after smaller businesses is certainly nothing new. At the end of last year, for example, Vans took Brooklyn creative studio MSCHF to court over the Wavy Baby trainers, citing that its design could “confuse customers” who may mistaken it for the Old Skool. But unlike MSCHF, A Bathing Ape has been around for much, much longer, and is considered to be one of the OG streetwear labels. Its sneakers have become a huge selling point, and changing these could result in massive financial implications for it.

At this moment in time, the new designs for the A Bathing Ape BAPESTA and SK8STA have still to be revealed, so keep it locked at Captain Creps for everything that you need to know. Let us know what you think of this verdict, and whether or not you think it was fair.

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