Nike has filed a lawsuit against online marketplace StockX for selling unauthorised images featuring its shoes as NFTs. It added that the platform had begun listing the digital collectibles last month, which have already surpassed 500 sales.
The brand said the NFTs offered by StockX infringes its trademarks, which may cause confusion to customers. Furthermore, the platform also markets the collectibles to be tradeable for the actual physical versions of the shoes, only if the customers do not plan to resell them on its online marketplace. Based on listings on the website, the NFTs range from over US$500 (~RM) to up to a whopping US$10,000 in value.
Nike describes this approach to exhibit “inflated prices and murky terms of purchase and ownership.” The lawsuit demands StockX to cease all sales, as well as pay for unspecified money damages.
It is also worth noting that the popular footwear and apparel brand had recently acquired RTFKT, a digital art studio who specialise in creating virtual sneakers for the metaverse and as NFTs, in December of last year. In an official statement, Nike president and CEO John Donahoe described the deal as another step that accelerates the company’s digital transformation. “Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities,” he added.
RTFKT is now a part of the NIKE, Inc. family. pic.twitter.com/5egNk9d8wA
— RTFKT Studios (@RTFKTstudios) December 13, 2021
While unofficially confirmed, Nike’s acquisition of the studio is likely a sign of things to come – specifically, the brand’s possible entry into the digital collectible craze, which has grown exponentially popular in just a few years. On that note, it would only make sense for it to eliminate any potential impostors or unauthorised NFTs that bear Nike’s branding before introducing its own official collection to the market.
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