Van Halen are suing Nike over an alleged design similarity between Eddie Van Halen’s iconic “Frankenstein” guitar and a new line of the sportswear company’s sneakers, according to reports. But in a statement to Footwear News, Nike has now called the lawsuit without merit.
“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.”
ELVH, Van Halen’s company, filed a cause of action for copyright infringement complaint last Friday in a Los Angeles court against Nike, alleging that the design of some Dunk Low sneakers matches that of Van Halen’s famous guitars.
In 2001, the group copyrighted the crisscrossing red, black and white pattern that Eddie created in the late ’70s for his hybrid version of Gibson and Fender electric guitars. He’s continued to use the design on subsequent guitars. The trim on the side of the Nike Dunks features a red background with black and white crisscrosses.
Earlier in the spring, Van Halen released a line of sneakers featuring the Frankenstein design through a licensing deal with a New Jersey-based merchandising company.
ELVH contends that the similar Nike design caused Van Halen “irreparable harm and damage” and asks for the seizure and destruction of all the sneakers, confiscation of the profits and damages.
Lawyers for Van Halen told Footwear News that they had no comment besides the filed complaint, and they declared their preference “to try cases in court.”