Nike and the United States Postal Service Strike a Deal

STAMPED AND SEALED: After facing off with Nike about sneakers inspired by the U.S. Postal Service, the two parties have reached a resolution.

The all-white Experimental Nike Air Force 1 footwear are now officially licensed by the USPS, according to a USPS release that was issued by a Nike spokeswoman. The statement also noted, “Any early images of this shoe were not authorized to be released by Nike.”

A spokeswoman for the USPS did not respond immediately for a request for comment about the financial terms of the deal.

Last month, Nike came under fire from the USPS for using its intellectual property for the upcoming Nike Air Force 1 without authorization. At that time, the postal service issued a statement that said it “receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations, protect its intellectual property.”

The controversy received international media attention since Nike was embroiled in a legal battle with MSCHF over its Satan-inspired footwear that had been produced in collaboration with Lil Nas X. Nike and MSCHF later settled, with the Brooklyn-based platform and art collective initiating a voluntary buyback of any Satan Shoe, a reimagined version of the Nike Air Max 97, for their original price of $1,018 to try to remove them from circulation. Shortly after the settlement, pairs of the Satan Shoe were retailing for up to $15,000. As part of the settlement, MSCHF also initiated a buyback program for its “Jesus Shoe,” which had been released in 2019 with repurposed Nike footwear and which Nike did not object to at the time.

Notre Dame University Law School professor and director of the Notre Dame Technology Ethics Center Mark McKenna said Wednesday, “I just think it’s worth noting the contrast between Nike’s aggressive behavior regarding MSCHF and the ‘make the shoes first, seek licensing relationship later’ approach to the USPS.”

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