Nike denies copying Eddie Van Halen's shoe design

Nike's Dunk Lows are making Eddie see red, white and black
Nike's Dunk Lows are making Eddie see red, white and black (Image credit: Matthew York)

A Nike spokesperson has dismissed "without merit" Eddie Van Halen's claims that the sportswear company is infringing on the guitarist's copyrighted 'Frankenstein' design in its new line of sneakers.

In other words, they're not 'running with the devil.'

"Based on the information provided to us, we have not infringed on any rights held by Mr Van Halen," Nike said in a statement to Footwear News. (No, we didn't know there was such a website either.)

"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," the statement read.

Nike's Dunk Low

As MusicRadar reported yesterday, Eddie Van Halen filed a lawsuit against Nike in Los Angeles last Friday, alleging the company used the trademarked striped design from his guitar on their new line of 'Dunk Lows' sneakers.

The guitarist sells his own brand of chucks which feature the familiar stripes from his famous 'Frankenstein' guitar on Eddie Van Halen obtained a copyright for the guitar's body design in 2001.

Eddie Van Halen's chucks

Eddie is seeing red, white and black over Nike's Dunk Lows, claiming that the sneakers are causing "irreparable harm and damage" to his signature design. The guitarist is seeking general and punitive damages, all profits arising from the sales of Dunk Lows and a permanent injunciton halting production of the Nike shoes.

So what do you think? Does Eddie have a case?

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.