Landmark decision: Birkin Bag NFT infringes trade mark

In a decision which could change the NFT world as we know it, US court has issued a decision deeming a NFT as infringing of registered trade marks.

Mason Rothschild, an artist in the US, created Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) which were digital images of Hermes Birken Bags covered in fur, called ‘Metabirkens’.

Fashion house Hermes took action against this and filed a claim with the Manhattan Courts, claiming that such NFTs infringed their trade marks.

The birken bag is arguably the most famous item that Hermes sells. On this basis, Hermes claimed that consumers would believe that the NFTs were officially associated with the brand, and this could cause confusion and reputational damage. Hermes also argued that their own plans to create NFTs was stopped by Rothchild’s actions.

The Court agreed and  awarded Hermes $133,000.00 in damages, rejecting Rothschild’s argument that his products, which he began selling in 2021, were works of art reflecting the luxury goods market, and should be allowed under freedom of speech laws.

This decision is a very important one for a world in which NFTs are growing in popularity. The world is online therefore it was only a matter of time that people’s assets became digital. With the possibilities endless when it comes to digital art, those creating and profiting from NFTs will have to do so very carefully, if they wish to use popular brands as a way to attract custom.

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