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Eddie Van Halen Sues Nike Over Guitar's Signature Color Scheme

June 17, 2009 12:31 PM ET

Eddie Van Halen's red, white and black splatter-striped "Frankenstrat" guitar is one of the Van Halen leader's true signatures. In fact, it's so closely associated with the guitarist, Van Halen had the color scheme copyrighted in 2001. Now he's suing Nike because he says the sportswear giant put a similar design on one of their Dunk Lows sneakers, Spinner reports.

In the lawsuit Eddie and his ELVH Inc. accuse Nike of treading on his trademark, saying the NYX sneaker did "irreparable harm and damage" to his design. He is seeking both monetary retribution and "the impoundment and destruction of all footwear." While the sneaker does feature red, white and black stripes on the sole — a popular tri-color combination — it doesn't seem identical to Van Halen's pattern, and in response to the suit, a Nike spokesperson said, "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."

At the heart of the conflict is the fact that just last month, Eddie Van Halen released his own footwear line, EVH Shoes, adored with his Frankenstrat stripes. Van Halen's sneakers actually look suspiciously like Converse All-Stars, so unless there's an official deal in place, he could potentially find himself on the opposite end of a lawsuit soon.

Related Stories:

"Guitar Hero: Van Halen" Nixes Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar
Exclusive: Eddie Details What's Next for Van Halen
Michael Anthony Refutes Eddie's Claim He Quit Van Halen

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