C Cultura

Nike suing former designers

Denis Dekovic laments break-up with Nike as they sue former designers Dekovic, Dolce and Miner for trading sensitive design documents with adidas.

It was never going to be a happy break-up after it was reported in September that adidas had snapped up three of Nike's most influential designers. Now the American company are suing former Design Director Denis Dekovic and senior designers Marc Dolce and Mark Miner for violating their non-compete agreements, claiming at least US$10 million in damages.

The lawsuit, filed in Oregon where adidas has its U.S. HQ (just 13 miles away from Nike's world HQ), alleges that before the three left Nike, they were consulting with adidas and pitched plans to replicate Nike's famous "Innovation Kitchen" where products, materials and concepts are designed and tested years in advance. Shortly after the three resigned, adidas announced that it would be opening their Brooklyn Creative Design Studio, managed by Dekovic, Dolce and Miner.

Nike says Dekovic had the files of his laptop duplicated, which gave him access to "thousands of proprietary documents relating to Nike's global football product lines". More specifically, the documents detail future launches including team kits for the 2016 European Championships and plans for Nike sponsored athletes in at least seven countries.

The American company also claim that adidas promised to pay for any legal fallout following the move. Dekovic has since taken to his Facebook page to address the issue, stating:

"During our entire careers at Nike, we gave nothing but our maximum effort. We collectively poured in hours of passion and dedication beyond what was asked or expected of us, often prioritising our jobs over our families."

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