Nike sues three former designers for theft of intellectual property
By Oregon Small Business Association
Nike has sued three of its former top designers for $10 million for violating their non-compete agreements and stealing intellectual property. The three senior designers Denis Dekovic, Marc Dolce, and Mark Miner are accused of stealing sensitive design and business documents, including drawings for an unreleased shoe, and taking them to Nike’s German rival, Adidas. Nike claims that the designers started consulting for Adidas last April while they were still employed at Nike, a violation of their non-compete agreements. Nike also alleges that the three attempted to hide incriminating evidence by erasing emails and text messages from their work-issued cell phones and laptops. The same month that the trio left Nike, Adidas announced that they would staff its new urban footwear design studio in Brooklyn. Nike claims that the Brooklyn studio is a knock-off of their own top secret Innovation Kitchen.
“We find Nike’s allegations hurtful because they are either false or are misleading half-truths,” said the accused designers. “We did not take trade secrets or intellectual property when we departed Nike in September.”
The case will be heard by the Multnomah County Circuit Court.