Nike sues over sneaker NFTs to clean house before metaverse arrives
Nike is suing sneaker resale startup StockX over a series of NFTs the sportswear giant says could confuse customers and hurt its reputation, reports The Straits Times.
Nike began proceedings against StockX in New York federal court last Thursday, claiming that the Detroit-based marketplace was selling NFT images of its shoes at inflated prices to unsuspecting customers.
According to the court paperwork, the firm is even selling NFTs of run-of-the-mill Nike editions at a massive mark-up.
For example, the Nike Dunk Low in black and white were listed for just $282 on the StockX website but the NFT version would set sneaker freaks back a touch under $800.
“Nike did not approve of or authorize StockX’s Nike-branded Vault NFTs,” said Nike’s complaint.
“Those unsanctioned products are likely to confuse consumers, create a false association between those products and Nike, and dilute Nike’s famous trademarks.”
Nike is asking for unspecified monetary damages and wants all future sales blocked.
Nike wants to protect its own NFT sneaker investment
The collection in question is part of StockX’s Vault program, which the retailer calls, “an experience where our customers can invest in NFTs tied to physical products and trade them instantly with lower fees.”
StockX, which achieved a near $4-billion valuation last year, began selling the Ethereum-powered NFTs in January. The startup promised buyers they could swap the digital footwear for the real thing “in the near future.”
[Read more: Can NFTs be ‘art’? Wikipedia can’t decide, will worry about it later]
In any case, the lawsuit appears to signal that Nike intends to clear house in case the metaverse becomes a real thing.
Last December, the Beaverton apparel king bought virtual sneaker maker RTKFT Studios for an undisclosed sum.
RTKFT, backed by web3
bagholder proponent Andreessen Horowitz, issues NFTs of sneakers intended for use across virtual realities.
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