Nike has filed a lawsuit against StockX, a sneaker reseller at a New York federal court today. It alleges that Nike Sneaker NFTs are being sold by the Detroit-based vendor without proper authorization.
StockX has sold a huge variety of sneaker-themed NFTs as part of its “Vault” collection, all since January.
Said NFTs are openly modeled on actual Nike-issued sneakers, which is why the company complains about StockX telling its buyers that these unapproved NFTs would be redeemable for physical goods “in the near future.”
The complaint also makes note of the fact that StockX has already sold over 500 Nike-branded NFTs since launching its “Vault” blockchain venture back on January 18th, which led to them sometimes banking even more than triple the value of the NFTs’ official physical counterparts.
The filing done by Nike argues that this is in fact, a very clear case of copyright violation. “Those unsanctioned products are likely to confuse consumers, create a false association between those products and Nike, and dilute Nike’s famous trademarks.”
Nike, Adidas, and even Meta, formerly known as Facebook, are all in on the emergent metaverse, not to mention the rise of NFTs.
Last November, the sports apparel firm turned in 4 total filing trademark requests for the virtual goods with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Then, just later that very same month, it managed to build its virtual HQ in Roblox, an immersive 3D online multiplayer game. The game is not, however, a blockchain-based title.
Nike announced in December that it had officially acquired RTFKT Studios as it pivoted towards creating more sneaker-themed digital collectibles.
Adidas, the business rival to Nike, has been making some strides and power moves in a pretty similar direction. When the news of 2 high-profile announcements broke in November, people were intrigued by the company’s Metaverse push. They partnered up with Coinbase and bought off a plot in the blockchain metaverse game titled The Sandbox.
The moves these companies are making in on the metaverse are no joke, as is confirmed with the seriousness Nike is approaching this copyright violation case with.