November 19, 2018

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The Abstract Idea Defense in a Patent Infringement Suit Jumped the Shark in Nike v Puma

Nike sued Puma for infringing its fly knit shoes.  Puma filed a motion to dismiss because the patents asserted by Nike are directed to an abstract idea.  As can be seen below, the Nike claims clearly are directed to a SHOE!!!!  The judge in the case denied Puma’s motion this week.  A bit of sanity in a patent world gone mad.

9078488:

  1. An article of footwear including an upper and a sole structure attached to the upper, the upper incorporating a knitted component formed of unitary knit construction, the knitted component comprising: at least one lenticular knit structure including a first portion and a second portion disposed on opposite sides of the lenticular knit structure; and a base portion disposed adjacent to the at least one lenticular knit structure; wherein the at least one lenticular knit structure extends away from the base portion on an exterior surface of the upper; and wherein the first portion of the at least one lenticular knit structure is associated with a first visual effect when the upper is viewed from a first viewing angle and the second portion of the at least one lenticular knit structure is associated with a second visual effect when the upper is viewed from a second viewing angle that is different than the first viewing angle.

8266749:

  1. A method of manufacturing an article of footwear, the method comprising: simultaneously knitting a textile element with a surrounding textile structure, the knitted textile element having at least one knitted texture that differs from a knitted texture in the surrounding knitted textile structure; removing the knitted textile element from the surrounding knitted textile structure; incorporating the knitted textile element into the article of footwear.

7637032:

  1. An article of footwear, comprising: an upper member substantially constructed from textile material, wherein the upper member includes an exterior portion substantially constructed from knitted textile material, the exterior portion including a first region having stability ribs integrally formed in the knitted textile material and a second region continuous with the first region, the second region not including stability ribs; wherein a first portion of the first region extends along a forefoot portion of the exterior portion of the upper member and a second portion of the first region extends along a lateral midfoot side of the exterior portion of the upper member; wherein a portion of the second region extends along a junction between the upper member and the sole member and between the first portion of the first region and the second portion of the first region on a lateral midfoot side of the exterior portion of the upper member; and a sole member engaged with the upper member.

Nike’s response to Puma’s motion.

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Shareholder

Janal Kalis is a Shareholder and registered patent attorney with expertise in chemical engineering, chemical and mechanical patent law, including extensive experience drafting and prosecuting patents for chemical engineering processes, food products, cosmetics, coatings and medical devices throughout the world. Janal received a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota as well as a B.S.Ch.E. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota. She received her law degree from the University of Utah. Prior to entering law school, Janal...

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