Eddie Wants Nike To Just Don’t Do It

Van Halen lead guitarist and co-founder Eddie Van Halen takes the crisscrossing red, white and black stripes on his “Frankenstein” electric guitars pretty dang seriously. So seriously he trademarked the design back in 2001. And now he’s suing Nike over the stripes.

Last week Eddie filed a federal lawsuit in Los Angeles against Nike because he has a beef with the sportswear company’s new line of “Dunk Low” sneakers, according to Spinner.

The “Dunk Low” sneakers in question are black with a red bottom side trim that features black and white crisscrosses. In Eddie’s view, the similarities between the sneaker and his signature guitars, which he has been using since 1978, are too close for comfort.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Eddie’s company, ELVH Inc., claims that Nike infringed on his copyright without “consent, approval or license” and that the company is doing “irreparable harm and damage” to his design.

Photo: AP Photo / The Star Ledger
Van Halen at the Continental Airlines Arena, E.Rutherford, N.J.

Spinner reports Eddie wants general and punitive damages, all profits from the sneaker sales, and a permanent injunction halting production of the specific “Dunk Lows.” Oh, and one more thing – the guitarist doesn’t want the shoes that have already been pumped out of the factory to stick around. The suit reportedly demands “the impoundment and destruction of all footwear.”

In a statement to Footwear News, Nike says Eddie doesn’t have a case.

“Based on the information provided to us, we have not infringed on any rights held by Mr. Van Halen,” the statement read. “Nike’s Dunk shoe design is not substantially similar to any of the Van Halen designs, and Nike has not referenced the ‘Van Halen’ name or image as part of any marketing campaign or promotional material associated with the shoe.”

Earlier this year Eddie released his own line of sneakers through a licensing deal with a New Jersey-based merchandising company, including low-tops and high-tops based on the Frankenstein guitar design.

Click here for the Spinner story.

Click here to see the new Nike “Dunk Low” sneakers.

Click here to check out Van Halen’s line of shoes.