Source: AdobeStock/pavel siamionov
Nike has filed a civil lawsuit in the U.S. against Detroit-based online fashion resale platform StockX, claiming that the latter used unauthorized images of footwear in its irreplaceable tokens (NFT) products.
In a 50-page complaint filed in the Southern District Court of New York, Nike's lawyers claimed that StockX's Vault NFT products infringed on its trademark rights, alleging that they could cause confusion to consumers.
The claim continues to seek financial damages as well as a court order to prevent StockX from selling NFT.
Nike appointed lawyers wrote that StockX “misappropriated Nike’s famous trademark and goodwill to help it enter the lucrative NFT and digital collectibles market. The lawyers added that this sought to deprive Nike of “the exclusive right to use its trademarks in this new medium of commerce” [NFTs].”
The claim did not include a figure for damages, but claimed that its brand had been "diluted" by StockX's products on the grounds of "unfair competition".
It called on the court to "promptly and permanently stop StockX from continuing to sell the Vault NFT with Nike's famous logo".
The lawyers said that "558 Nike branded personal Vault NFTs" have been sold on the StockX platform.
According to StockX's own website, its Vault NFTs are "physically backed by StockX custody, tied directly one-to-one via the blockchain."
Thus, it explains that
“If the physical item[s] associated with the Vault NFT are redeemed by the owner, it is removed from the StockX Vault and shipped to the owner. StockX will then remove the Vault NFT from the owner’s portfolio and liquidity (i.e., “burn” the Vault NFT).”
The company also said its Vault NFT allows shoppers to "invest in the current culture like never before," enabling them to own an item "without having to own" it or pay for shipping. "Plus," the company added, "you can sell it without having to send it to us, and at less cost to the seller."
But Nike's legal team claims that consumers "are already questioning whether Nike authorized StockX to sell its [Trademark-]infringing NFT products" and asked the company "how StockX obtained" permission to sell Nike branded NFTs.
Nike has dove headfirst into the world of NFT, with its own line of products already retailing on platforms like OpenSea. Last December, the company acquired RTFKT, a maker of virtual sneakers and collectibles, and NFT, which is related to footwear.
If Nike is successful through its legal action against the platform, other sportswear companies may follow suit – the platform also offers at least one Adidas NFT.
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