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Nike Suing Ex-Employees for Selling Trade Secrets to adidas

marc dolce mark miner denis dekovic nike adidas lawsuit 1 Nike Suing Ex Employees for Selling Trade Secrets to adidas eukicks

Nike and adidas continue to do battle. The two last saw a court date in 2012 over their competing technical woven materials. On the talent side of sneaker design, adidas has been busy investing in talent from all-stars like Kanye, Nigo and Pharrell to top talent at Nike.

That last power play has led the German sports giant in to provoke it transatlantic competitor. Senior design director Denis Dekovic and designers Marc Dolce and Mark Miner have left the Swoosh for adidas and Nike has accused them of sharing its secrets.

The three designers are set to launch a creative space for adidas product development, the Brooklyn Creative Design Studio. Nike claims the designers lifted the idea from their Innovation Kitchen.

Nike is suing its former employees for a list of grievances that includes violating its noncompete agreement, the theft of Nike designs and strategies from its running, sportswear and football lines.

adidas is dismissing any claims of wrongdoing in the matter, however Nike claims to have digital evidence to prove otherwise. The civil lawsuit is asking for $10 million in damages. Read more at Reuters.


Portland Business Journal has created a timeline of the events according to Nike. The list details the career advancement of the three designers through Nike and then lists their alleged misbehavior. Here are some highlights from the timeline…

March 2014: Brian Foresta, Adidas vice president of design for global basketball, contacts Dolce and Dekovic to “discuss professional careers,” according to Nike.

April 2014: Nike claims the designers start a “plot” to leave and take trade secrets. Nike further claims Dekovic, Dolce and Miner bought “thousands of phony social media followers” in order to create “false perception of buzz and popularity” and make themselves more attractive to future employers.

May 2014: Nike agrees to pay more than $50,000 in relocation expenses so Dekovic can more his family to Italy. Nike quotes an electronic communication from Dekovic in which he says Italy is one of those “countries where (Nike’s) non compete is difficult to enforce.”

June 2014: Dekovic, Dolce and Miner start work for Adidas as consultants while still employed at Nike, according to Nike.

Sept. 22, 2014: Last day of employment for Dekovic, Dolce and Miner at Nike.

image via hypebeast

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