Nike Sues StockX for Sneaker NFTs

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Key Takeaways:

  • Since its introduction in January, one of the most common complaints of the StockX NFT program has been Nike’s lawsuit.
  • StockX’s rules around its NFTs allow it to redeem an NFT from its Vault program for an experience component at its exclusive discretion, effectively taking it away from the holder, according to the complaint.

On Thursday, Nike filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, accusing StockX of using its trademarks to market and sell non-fungible tokens “at excessively inflated prices to naive consumers” without permission. According to the federal complaint, Nike says that StockX is infringing on and diluting its trademarks by minting “Vault” NFTs based chiefly on famous Nike footwear.

Nike declined to comment on the complaint, citing a company policy prohibiting public commentary about operational, legal matters. A request for comment from StockX was not returned. It also questions the excessive prices of the StockX NFTs, pointing out that a typical sneaker like the black and white Nike Dunk Low sells for an average of $282 on the site, but the NFT version sells for an average of $809.

The lawsuit uses social media to demonstrate that there is already confusion about the StockX NFTs, citing Reddit and Twitter comments that question whether Nike is involved in the project.

The lawsuit includes a hint for what’s to come from Nike-owned RTFTK, indicating that virtual products would be released in February.

Nike has requested that StockX refrains from selling or promoting its Vault NFTs that bear Nike trademarks. It also wants the resell marketplace to destroy the NFTs and compensate Nike for any losses.

Nike is heavily invested in the metaverse, and a new division called Nike Virtual Studios was recently established. In December 2021, it acquired the NFT brand RTFKT, which will now operate under the new Virtual Studios division.

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Chetna Prakash