Hermés sues NFT creator over Trademark Infringement

A globally re-known Luxury Brand named Hermés has come out of its always silent shell to sue one of the creators named Mason Rothschild. It was alleged that he committed trademark infringement by displaying Hermés in his non-fungible token (NFT) which is given the name of ‘Metabirkins’. A 47-page complaint was submitted to New York’s Southern District Court by the Hermés where Rothschild was accused of adopting a ‘get rich quick scheme’ where he deliberately used the brand Metabirkins in not only creating, marketing, selling but also for facilitating the exchange of digital assets.

Rothschild’s Metabirkin NFTs became a big viral hit in the month of December. The first item of the drop was sold out for approximately 42,000 dollars. The virtual artwork of Rothschild consisted of digital recreations of the iconic Birkin bag belonging to Hermés. These bags cost over 10,000 dollars in the real world.

After recognizing such a recreation, a cease and desist letter was served to Open Sea from the luxury brand after which these NFT versions were also removed from this supporting digital platform. However, Rothschild did not stop and continued to market them without any interruptions through his own website. He also said in a statement that his artworks were nothing but depictions of the real thing in the virtual world.

In the complaint, Hermés further accused Rothschild of causing damage to the Birkin mark through his activations surrounding the digital bags. Hermés also said, “The title of ‘artist’ does not confer a license to use an equivalent to the famous Birkin trademark. His manner is calculated to mislead consumers”.

This case is undoubtedly worthy enough to keep a close eye on as it is one of the first cases dealing with the fashion-related NFTs committing a trademark infringement and further a dilution perspective. It will potentially act as a precedent for other big-name brands that are actively taking advantage of the space which not only includes litigation in this space but also experiencing infringement of marks here.