Digital artist Mason Rothschild is being sued by luxury brand Hermès. The latter accuses him of having violated one of its registered trademarks. This, by promoting and selling MetaBirkins, a line of NFTs supposed to resemble Birkin bags from the Hermès company.
Hermes accuses MetaBirkin of using its bags for its NFT collection
In its complaint, Hermès claims that the collection improperly exploited its Birkin brand. She would have deceived her customers, making them believe that the high-end brand supported the project. This is probably what reveals court documents filed on January 23.
Additionally, according to those same court documents, Rothschild invokes the First Amendment in his defense. Thus, the defendant takes refuge under this law, which imposes no restrictions on freedom of expression and protects, according to him, his work.
A few days before the trial Hermes-MetaBirkin, a number of lawyers and intellectual property experts gave their opinion. They pointed out that the case could have an impact on the NFT sector.
The opinion of certain lawyers on the course of the trial
Laura Lamansky spoke out in a Jan. 18 article about the lawsuit and its potential impact on the NFT market. A partner at law firm Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, she called the case a watershed moment for Web3 and digital products.
Meanwhile, blockchain and tech lawyer Michael Kasdan also followed the case. Hermes-MetaBirkin. However, he says for his part that he doesn’t think the verdict will have much impact.
In response to NFT projects that violate copyright, intellectual property, and trademarks, brands and businesses have begun to take action.
On February 4, 2022, Nike sued StockX for trademark infringement. The reason for this lawsuit was that the online merchant produced NFTs whose design resembled Nike’s sneakers.
All in all, the outcome of the Hermes-MetaBirkin lawsuit could turn the world of NFTs upside down. In particular, it will determine whether the right of ownership of real goods extends to their digital representation.
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