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Nicola Mira
Published
Feb 7, 2022
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Nike files lawsuit against StockX for selling sneaker NFTs

By
AFP
Translated by
Nicola Mira
Published
Feb 7, 2022

Last Thursday, Nike field a lawsuit in New York against US e-tailer StockX, accusing it of commercialising without Nike’s permission digital non-fungible tokens (NFTs) featuring some of the sport giant's sneaker models.


Nike asked the court for damages and interest, and to compel StockX to stop selling the NFTs in question - GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/Archives


“StockX is minting NFTs that feature Nike trademarks in pre-eminent fashion, it promotes them exploiting the Nike brand name, and is selling these NFTs at heavily inflated prices to unsuspecting consumers who believe or are likely to believe that these 'investible digital assets' (as StockX calls them) are, in fact, authorized by Nike when they are not,” stated Nike's lawyers.

Nike has asked the court for damages and interest, and for an injunction compelling StockX to cease selling the NFTs in question.

StockX specialises in new and second-hand sneakers and sportswear, and made its name by creating an auction system, so that product prices are determined by demand. On StockX, sneaker aficionados bid for collectible models, like the mythical Air Jordans, that can end up being traded for sums in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The site is now also selling NFTs, unique digital assets whose provenance is block-chain traceable.

Searching on StockX using ‘NFT’ as key word produces as a result the ‘KAWS Sacai Nike Blazer Low Blue (Vault NFT)’, selling for a minimum of approximately $500.

The site states that its “stock vault NFTs” can be bought and sold on StockX or “redeemed (...) for the real pair stored in our vault.”

In its complaint, Nike described NFTs as a “new, exciting way for brands to interact with their consumers in and out of the 'metaverse’,” the virtual, augmented-reality parallel universe that is seen as the future of the internet.

However, “this new frontier has swiftly become a virtual playground for counterfeiters (...) [who] use those trademarks without authorization to market their virtual products and generate ill-gotten profits,” Nike added.

According to Nike, StockX has already sold more than 550 NFTs featuring Nike products. Contacted by the AFP agency, neither company has issued a statement for the time being.

Last April, StockX was valued at $3.8 billion, after a funding round worth $255 million. The site recorded a revenue of $400 million in 2020.

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