Nike Sues YouTube Influencer for Fake Sneaker Operation

The Swoosh is taking Eben 'Cedaz' Fox to court for promoting and selling fake sneakers on his various social media platforms.

Image via US District Court

Nike has filed a trademark lawsuit against a popular sneaker influencer who the brand says has been promoting and selling counterfeit Swoosh products on social media.

The Oregon-based sportswear company filed the lawsuit against Eben "Cedaz" Fox in a Florida federal court Friday, accusing him of using his online presence to "promote and peddle counterfeit goods to tens of thousands of social media users."

The Swoosh calls attention to Fox openly flaunting his counterfeit Nike sneakers to his large social media following on platforms including Instagram, YouTube and TikTok accounts for affiliate marketing, which allows him to profit directly from the promotion and sales. One of Fox's more notable YouTube videos is of him going into a Nike store with a $15 fake pair Air Force 1 Lows and returning them for the shoe for its actual retail price. At the time of writing, that video had amassed 620K views.

The suit also details how Fox operates a Discord community that serves as a marketplace and an instructional hub on how to purchase replica Nike sneakers from overseas. Nike’s lawyers also highlighted that Fox has partnered with various counterfeiters and service providers, including the shipping platform PandaBuy, to promote counterfeit products. Fox is also listed co-owner of the website, which allegedly facilitates the sale hundreds of counterfeit Nike products offered by PandaBuy.

Nike lawyers have also called out Fox for acting as a "troll" on social media by capturing content of him wearing counterfeit Nike shoes at numerous public outings, including sneaker conventions and skateboarding competitions in an attempt to deceive others in believing his counterfeit goods are genuine.

In the filing, Nike is asking that the court block Fox and his partners from manufacturing, transporting, promoting, advertising, and selling counterfeit Nike products. The Swoosh is also seeking three times the amount of damages and related expenses from the suit.