Nike complains about virtual shoes, suing retailer that sells NFT sneakers

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Sneaker giant Nike sued online retailer StockX in New York federal court on Thursday for selling unauthorized images of Nike sneakers, marking the latest lawsuit over digital assets known as non-fungible tokens. Nike said StockX’s NFTs infringe on its trademarks and are likely to mislead consumers. His lawsuit asked for unspecified monetary damages and an order to block his sales.

Detroit-based StockX, a platform for reselling sneakers, bags and other merchandise, was valued at more than $3.8 billion last year. A company representative did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Nike or its attorneys.

Nike said StockX last month began selling unauthorized NFTs of its shoes, telling buyers they could redeem the tokens for physical versions of the shoes “in the near future.”

The complaint said StockX has sold more than 500 Nike-branded NFTs. The suit says complaints about the “inflated prices and murky terms of purchase and ownership” of NFTs and buyers’ doubts about the legitimacy of StockX’s model have damaged Nike’s business reputation.

Nike said it will launch “a series of virtual products” later this month in conjunction with digital art studio RTFKT, which it acquired in December. NFTs have recently gained popularity, and lawsuits over them have started reaching US courts.

Miramax sued director Quentin Tarantino in November over his plans to auction off NFTs related to the 1994 film “Pulp Fiction,” which the studio directed and distributed. Last month, Hermes sued artist Mason Rothschild over his “MetaBirkin” NFTs from the French company’s Birkin bags.

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