Nike Sues StockX Over Sneaker NFTs

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Nike is taking StockX to the New York federal court for the marketplace’s selling of Nike-branded NFTs.

These days, it seems like every brand is coming out with an NFT collection of some kind. Sneaker Brands are no exception, and while Nike may have been slow to the draw, they set plans in motion not long back. This was brought to light upon their USPTO filings back in November, which detailed an intent to create and sell digital goods such as footwear, clothing, headwear, eyewear, etc. Alongside, the trademark protects both the Jumpman and Swoosh branding, making it impossible for creators in the NFT space to make use of the two logos.

StockX didn’t quite get the memo. At the beginning of this year, the resale platform introduced their “Vault” NFTs, which turned some of the culture’s most popular releases into the digital collectible. Each represented a physical version — stored, brand new, and comfortable in a secure facility — and one would be able to “flip” their pair all while avoiding seller fees, shipping, and the like. It was also possible to redeem the NFT in the near future, and the company even mentioned the possibility of special benefits, such as limited promotions, early releases, and cultural events.

The images themselves are what garnered scrutiny from Nike, and it’s exactly why the brand is taking StockX to court. While representatives are avoiding comment at this time, the Swoosh has stated that the StockX NFTs infringe on their trademarks and could cause confusion for consumers.

“Nike did not approve of or authorize StockX’s Nike-branded Vault NFTs,” the complaint reads. “Those unsanctioned products are likely to confuse consumers, create a false association between those products and Nike, and dilute Nike’s famous trademarks.”

What’s more, the complaint mentions NFT’s inflated price and terms of ownership, as both have created doubt among customers and could negatively impact Nike’s reputation. And as StockX has sold over 500 Swoosh-branded NFTs at this point, Nike claims damages have already been done — especially if you consider that Black/White Dunk Lows are selling for $500 more than their physical counterpart.

As Nike recently acquired RTFKT for their own collections, it’s likely they felt it necessary to take action. Expect more updates on this story as it progresses.

Source: Coingape / Reuters

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