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US Court Halts "MetaBirkin" NFT Sales Amid Hermès Trademark Violation Case

US Court Halts "MetaBirkin" NFT Sales Amid Hermès Trademark Violation Case

It seems that NFT investors will no longer be able to purchase "MetaBirkin."

In a landmark decision involving French luxury fashion brand Hermès and artist Mason Rothschild, the United States court has enforced a permanent injunction to halt the sales of the "MetaBirkin" non-fungible tokens (NFTs) collection.

In the Southern District of New York, Hermès initially presented their plea in March, urging the court to stop all MetaBirkin NFT sales.

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US Judge Jed Rakoff, based in Manhattan, approved the fashion house's request on June 23rd, voicing skepticism over Rothschild's defense against the lawsuit, particularly his ongoing promotion of the project.

Judge Rakoff indicated that Rothschild had designed an elaborate scheme to mislead consumers into thinking that Hermès endorsed his profitable MetaBirkins NFTs by using variations of Hermès' trademarks. The Judge added:

<The> defendant's entire scheme here was to defraud consumers into believing, by his use of variations on Hermes’ trademarks, that Hermes was endorsing his lucrative MetaBirkins NFTs.

The MetaBirkin collection is composed of 100 NFT artworks that depict Birkin-style handbags decorated with fur. It is reported that Rothschild earned more than $1 million in sales from this project.

The roots of the legal battle trace back to January when Hermès charged Rothschild with misappropriating its Birkin trademark in his NFT collection.

In February, a nine-member jury concluded that Rothschild had infringed upon Hermès's trademark, thus ordering him to pay $133,000 in damages.

In response, Rothschild claimed his work constituted artistic expression and was therefore protected by the First Amendment, drawing parallels with Andy Warhol's legal use of Campbell's soup cans in his art.

Moreover, he maintained he didn't deliberately mislead consumers and included disclaimers explaining that Hermès had no connection to his project.

Nevertheless, the court refuted these arguments, focusing on Rothschild's use of the term "Birkins." The court documents state:

The jury found that his decision to use Hermès’ trademarks in the name and design of the MetaBirkins NFTs — not just his marketing and sales techniques — was explicitly misleading and rejected his disclaimer defense.

In a definitive win for Hermès, the company successfully halted the sale of MetaBirkin NFTs, strengthening the enforcement of trademark rights in the digital art world. Despite defenses around artistic expression and disclaimers, the courts maintained the priority of protecting established trademarks over the new realm of non-fungible tokens.

Gile K., Market Sentiment Analyst
Gile is a Market Sentiment Analyst who understands what public events may form what emotions. Her experience researching Web3 news and public market messages – including cryptocurrency news reports, PRs, and social network streams – is critical to her role in helping lead the Crypto News Editorial Team.
As an intelligent professional in public relations, together with the team, she aims to determine real VS fake news patterns, and bring her findings to anyone searching for unbiased news and events happening in the FinTech markets. Her expertise is uncovering the latest trustworthy & informative Web3 announcements to the masses.
When she's not researching the trustworthiness of mainstream stories, she spends time enjoying her terrace view and taking meticulous care of her outdoor environment.



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