What began as a legal battle over the intellectual property rights of sneaker NFTs just escalated in a big way. In its lawsuit against StockX, Nike Inc. amended its court filing to claim that the online sneaker marketplace has been selling counterfeit shoes. Further, The Swoosh called out StockX for false advertising regarding its promise to properly authentic footwear.
Nike shared that it purchased four pairs of sneakers from StockX that turned out to be fake, including the classic “Patent Bred” Air Jordan 1 High OG. Nike’s official court filing states the following:
“Those four pairs of counterfeit shoes were all purchased within a short two-month period on StockX’s platform. All had affixed to them StockX’s ‘Verified Authentic’ hangtag and all came with a paper receipt from StockX in the shoe box stating that the condition of the shoes is ‘100% Authentic.'”
The aforementioned “Patent Bred” is one of StockX’s eight Vault NFTs that sparked the initial copyright infringement lawsuit. Dating back to February, the sportswear giant sued StockX for “blatantly freeriding” on the Nike trademark with its Vault NFTs. At the time, StockX argued that its Vault NFTs do not correlate to digital sneakers. Instead, each of the Vault NFTs ties to a physical sneaker stored in a vault that can then be digitally traded online. The Swoosh refuted the claims, saying StockX’s actions were “no different than major e-commerce retailers and marketplaces who use images and descriptions of products to sell physical sneakers and other goods, which consumers see (and are not confused by) every single day.”
Further, Nike expressed concerns that infringed Nike-branded NFTs are somehow linked to the counterfeit sneakers. Despite the ongoing lawsuit, StockX has yet to remove any Nike trademarks from its Vault NFTs. StockX has also yet to offer a formal response to the latest development and accusations from Nike.
*** update ***
StockX has released a statement regarding the latest accusations from Nike Inc. The marketplace reaffirms its belief that Nike’s claims are “baseless” and without standing. StockX’s complete statement is as follows:
“We take customer protection extremely seriously. We’ve invested millions to fight the proliferation of counterfeit products that virtually every global marketplace faces today. Nike’s latest filing is not only baseless but also is curious given that their own brand protection team has communicated confidence in our authentication program, and that hundreds of Nike employees – including current senior executives – use StockX to buy and sell products. This latest tactic amounts to nothing more than a panicked and desperate attempt to resuscitate its losing legal case against our innovative Vault NFT program that revolutionizes the way that consumers can buy, store, and sell collectibles safely, efficiently, and sustainably. Nike’s challenge has no merit and clearly demonstrates their lack of understanding of the modern marketplace.”
We’ll keep you posted as the legal battle between The Swoosh and StockX continues. Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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