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Shoe Companies Settle Lawsuit

December 17, 1992

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) _ A patent infringement lawsuit has been settled by Nike Inc. and Avia Group International, the shoe makers announced Thursday.

Avia filed the lawsuit in 1991, alleging that Nike’s ″Air 180″ and ″Air Force 180″ running and basketball shoes infringed upon Avia patents.

Avia accused Nike of pirating Avia’s ″Cantilever″ technology, which uses a cushion to provide shock absorption and stability. The company contended the technology has been the basis of its products since Avia was founded in 1980.

Avia sought unspecified damages and a permanent injunction preventing sales of the two types of Nike shoes.

Nike responded that one of its patents was infringed by several Avia athletic shoes.

Neither company would discuss terms of the settlement. But a Nike spokesman said it was strictly a business decision.

Lindsay Stewart, Nike’s general counsel, said Nike decided to settle the lawsuit because ″it became obvious no one would be successful in pursuing it.″

″I don’t think either side was particularly happy, but maybe that’s how settlements are supposed to be,″ he said.

Avia president Harry de Boer said the settlement followed intense discussions between the two companies. He declined to go into detail.

″Suffice it to say we’re very happy to have a settlement for a variety of reasons,″ he said.

Both companies are based in the Portland suburb of Beaverton. Avia was acquired in 1987 by Reebok International Ltd.

Nike and Reebok produce the top selling athletic shoes in the country.

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