Luxury brand Hermès filed a suit against digital artist Mason Rothschild after the artist released his Metabirkins NFT collection depicting the company’s Birkin pack item without Permission.
The Trial between Mason Rothschild and the French luxury brand Herms is set to go ahead in January.
There was a federal Court in Manhattan.
The luxury brand accused the nonfungible token (NFT) artist of trademark infringement for promoting and selling MetaBirkins, a NFT collection said to be inspired by the group’s Birkin packs.
The trial and its related lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York can be first followed back to Jan. Mason Rothschild was accused of refusing to stop selling his NFT collection by Herms.
According to court documents filed on Jan. 23, Hermès argues the collection has inappropriately used the Birkin trademark and potentially confused customers into believing the luxury brand supports the project.
In the mean time, the court docs also uncover Rothschild believes his work is protected under the First Amendment — which allows for no restrictions on free expression.
Various intellectual property lawyers and legal specialists have commented in the days coming up to the trial, taking note of the case could have implications for the NFT industry.
Laura Lamansky, an associate with law office Michael Best and Friedrich LLP, called the case a “momentous turning point for Web3 and digital goods,” in a Jan. 18 post discussing the trial and its potential implications for the eventual fate of the NFT industry.
“This has yet to be addressed: to what degree are certifiable trademarks enforceable in the digital world? We’ll watch this case near determine how best to support freedoms in the digital sphere,” she said.
“It will hopefully provide some insight into how artwork and the First Amendment interact with consumer goods and NFTs, and how far a brand’s rights in its trademarks or items extends in the digital age,” Lamansky said.
Blockchain and tech lawyer Michael Kasdan has also been following the case, yet he doesn’t appear to figure the outcome will be excessively significant.
He said that it was about to be one district court case data point.
Brands and companies have started to crack down against NFT projects which guarantee to violate copyright, intellectual property and trademarks.
On Feb. 4, 2022, Nike filed a lawsuit against StockX for trademark infringement as the online reseller allegedly created NFTs in the resemblance of Nike’s sneakers.
In September 2022, movie director Quentin Tarantino needed to settle a Miramax lawsuit after base-layer blockchain supplier Secret Network reported the bartering of “whole screenplay scenes” from Tarantino’s 1994 movie Raw Fiction as NFTs.