Clothing manufacturer Marshall Gobuty International USA Inc has filed a multi-million dollar patent infringement suit against sportswear giant Nike Inc.

The lawsuit, filed on Friday in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks temporary and permanent injunctions against the company plus damages of more than $8 million from Nike Inc for its alleged violation of three US patents held by MGI.

Marshall Gobuty says Nike has manufactured, marketed and sold products to retailers such as Paragon Sports, Foot Locker, Eastbay and Nordstrom, that feature roll up hand warmers similar to its own Handcuffs line.

The patented Handcuffs apparel features long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts with extendable cuff-like sleeves which, when unrolled, form built-in hand-warmers with thumb-hole openings.

"We explored our options and attempted to work with Nike before taking legal action," said Marshall Gobuty, founder and CEO of MGI.

"Our representatives sought a non judicial solution, but Nike only seemed to want a court fight over the three patents we hold that they have clearly infringed upon."

Since its introduction in 1998, sales of the Handcuffs line have generated more than $20 million and have featured in advertising campaigns and broadcast and print news.

"In 2003 we became aware of the Nike products and began to ascertain if our patents had been violated," said Gobuty.

"After doing some research we found that Nike was offering a product that was similar to Handcuffs, and upon further inspection by our patent attorney it was determined that Nike had cloned our patented product without permission.

"As a long time member of the apparel industry I find it somewhat disturbing that one of the nation's model companies in the fight against counterfeits and knockoffs has apparently chosen to go the very route that they so vigorously oppose."