Nike Takes Legal Action Against StockX

Date:

On February 3, 2022, Nike filed a lawsuit against StockX over the unauthorized usage of its trademark to sell NFTs in the Southern District of New York.

Nike Is Unhappy

Nike recently filed a federal complaint claiming that by minting a “Vault” NFTs of famous Nike Sneakers, StockX is diluting its trademarks while also infringing upon them. By the looks of things, it seems like Nike isn’t pleased with the sneaker resale powerhouse utilizing its trademarks without prior permission.

 

https://twitter.com/SneakerNews/status/1489623316860178435

 

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

 

The lawsuit also uses social media to communicate that there is already confusion over the NFTs being offered by StockX and how they relate to the sneaker manufacturer. Comments on Twitter and Reddit questioning Nike’s involvement in this project supported Nike’s stance.

 

Nike is a company that believes in the potential of NFTs, but they’re also a meticulous company that’s particular about their brand and how actions affect Nike’s perception among the general public. Nike is particularly unhappy about how the terms and conditions of StockX’s NFT program give the company the right to redeem NFTs from its “vault” without the owner’s permission.

 

Nike also shed more light on how StockX’s NFT program drives inflation among naturally mundane sneakers, sometimes costing three to four times more than regular retail versions.

NFTs: The Future of Commerce

As stated earlier, Nike is one company that’s wholeheartedly committed to the idea and technology behind NFTs and virtual worlds. Nike has considerable investments in the metaverse; it also established a new division known as the Nike Virtual Studios.

 

https://twitter.com/nicekicks/status/1489418256280690688

 

In January 2022, Nike CEO John Donahoe announced the creation of Nike Virtual Studios via internal mail. This new division is tasked with solidifying this company as a force to be reckoned with in the virtual world. Ron Faris, a seasoned Nike exec, has been chosen to spearhead this new and exciting division.

 

Similarly, Nike also made a bold move by acquiring RTFKT, an NFT brand that will operate under its newly established Virtual studios. Nike’s reaction to StockX’s actions does not mean that it isn’t interested in embracing NFTs and Web3 technology; it’s more of a legal battle.

What does this mean for NFTs?

As at the time of creating this report, neither StockX nor Nike have made any official statements concerning the case at hand – most organizations make it a point not to talk about ongoing cases. Nike is not alone when it comes to creators kicking against unauthorized use of trademarks.

 

Miramax recently sued Quentin Tarantino in November 2021 over his plans to auction NFTs related to one of the hit movies he’s directed, Pulp Fiction. Miramax was responsible for distributing said film while Tarantino directed it.

 

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