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Manhattan hosts Hermès-Mason Rothschild trademark infringement trial

Manhattan hosts Hermès-Mason Rothschild trademark infringement trial

Digital artist Mason Rothschild was sued by luxury brand Hermès for publishing his Metabirkins NFT collection without authorization, which featured the company’s Birkin bag product.

On Jan. 30, a federal court in Manhattan will hold the trademark infringement trial between digital artist Mason Rothschild and French luxury brand Hermès.

The nonfungible token (NFT) artist was accused of violating trademark laws by selling and promoting MetaBirkins, an NFT line allegedly modeled after the group’s Birkin bags.

The trial and associated lawsuit were initially filed on January 14, 2022, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by Hermès against Mason Rothschild after the artist allegedly refused to stop selling his NFT collection.

Hermès contends in court documents submitted on January 23 that the collection improperly used the Birkin trademark and possibly misled consumers into thinking the upscale brand supports the endeavor.

The court documents also show that Rothschild thinks his work is protected by the First Amendment, which places no restrictions on freedom of expression.

In the days leading up to the trial, a number of intellectual property attorneys and legal professionals made comments, noting that the case might have an impact on the NFT sector.

In a blog post on January 18 about the trial and its potential effects on the future of the NFT industry, Laura Lamansky, an associate with the law firm Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, referred to the case as a “momentous turning point for Web3 and digital goods.”

“What remains to be determined is how much real-world trademarks are enforceable online. To better protect rights in the digital sphere, we’ll be closely monitoring this case “She spoke.

It should clarify how the First Amendment and artwork relate to consumer goods and NFTs, as well as how far a company’s rights to its trademarks or goods extend online, according to Lamansky.

Michael Kasdan, a lawyer specializing in blockchain and technology, has been following the case as well, but he doesn’t seem to believe the outcome will have much of an impact.

It will only be one district court case data point, but it will be an interesting one, he continued.

Brands and businesses have started taking action against NFT projects they claim are infringing on their intellectual property rights, copyright, and trademarks.

Nike filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement against StockX on February 4, 2022, alleging that the online retailer made NFTs that resembled Nike’s sneakers.

After base-layer blockchain service provider Secret Network announced the auction of “uncut screenplay scenes” from Tarantino’s 1994 film Pulp Fiction as NFTs in September 2022, movie director Quentin Tarantino was forced to settle a Miramax lawsuit.

About MahKa

MahKa loves exploring the decentralized world. She writes about NFTs, the metaverse, Web3 and similar topics.

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