Nike Steps Up StockX Feud, Says Website Sells Fake Shoes
Nike Inc. has escalated its legal battle with sneaker market StockX, claiming to have purchased four pairs of counterfeit shoes from the platform.
Nike Inc. has escalated its legal battle with sneaker market StockX, claiming to have purchased four pairs of counterfeit shoes from the platform despite the company’s promises to only release genuine shoes.
The world’s largest sportswear maker has asked a federal judge to allow it to add infringement and misleading advertising claims to the trademark infringement lawsuit against StockX. He said he got the fake shoes, including a counterfeit Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG, from the market between December and January.
“These four pairs of counterfeit shoes were all purchased within two months on StockX’s platform, all had StockX’s ‘Verified Authentic’ hang tag, and all came with a paper receipt from StockX. in the shoebox stating that the condition of the shoes are ‘100% authentic’,” Nike said in a court filing on Tuesday.
Nike sued StockX in Manhattan federal court in February, accusing the market of “blatant freeriding” on Nike’s trademarks and goodwill with a service called Vault NFTs. StockX argued that its NFTs are not digital sneakers but simply lists of physical sneakers that are stored in its vault and can be traded by users.
StockX said in a statement Wednesday that it takes customer protection “extremely seriously” and has invested millions of dollars to “combat the proliferation of counterfeit products that virtually every global market faces today.”
StockX added: “Nike’s latest filing is not only baseless, but puzzling given that their own brand protection team trusted our authentication program, and that hundreds of Nike employees – including current senior executives – use StockX to buy and sell products.”
Legal fights erupt over NFTs as they become more common, attracting major brands ranging from Louis Vuitton to Taco Bell. Nike bought virtual sneaker maker RTFKT for an undisclosed sum in December and launched its own digital shoes last month.
StockX is said to be planning to go public as alternative assets like sneakers and collectibles have become a hot market for investors. The company said in April 2021 that it was valued at $3.8 billion after a secondary takeover bid.
Nike’s decision “represents nothing more than a panicked and desperate attempt to resuscitate its losing lawsuit against our innovative Vault NFT program that is revolutionizing the way consumers can buy, store and sell collectibles safely, efficiently and effectively. and sustainably,” StockX mentioned. “Nike’s challenge has no merit and clearly demonstrates their lack of understanding of the modern market.”
The case is Nike Inc. v StockX LLC, 22-cv-983, US District Court, Southern District of New York.