Nike files $1 million lawsuit against Ralph Lauren and former designer
Ralph Lauren has become a target for another high profile lawsuit on Monday. The American company along with Matthew Millward, the VP of Men’s Design for Club Monaco, is being taken to court by Nike for breach of contract and tortious interference.
The sportswear company states that Millward is being compensated by Ralph Lauren during the year in which he is legally prohibited to work for competing companies, and that Ralph Lauren is intentionally interfering with the non-compete agreement. The designer left his position as Senior Design Director of men’s sportswear for Nike on October 6, 2015 and went to Club Monaco a month later.
The Oregon-based company said in the suit about Millward that he is a “…highly compensated designer who was given access to Nike's most sensitive trade secrets and other confidential and proprietary business information, such as detailed product designs, technical specifications for new and advanced materials, and other similar information.” The company added that “the information to which Millward was given access during his employment is a core Nike asset of immeasurable value, and its strict confidentiality is critical to Nike's continuing success in the marketplace.”
The styles in question include a Tech Thermal Full Zip sweater, Tech Half Zip Hoodie, Bonded Crew, Flannel Jogger and Woven Trim Sweatpants by Club Monaco and a Reigning Champ Hybrid Bomber. These pieces share similar designs, as well as similar names and product descriptions to the Nike products.
Nike filed a $10 million lawsuit in 2014 for this same reason against its former senior shoe designers, Denis Dekovic, Marc Dolce and Mark Miner, who left the company for Adidas. The two parties managed to settle outside of court in June of this year.
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