Nike on Monday sued the streetwear company MSCHF, which released rapper Lil Nas X’s controversial “Satan Shoes.” Breitbart News reported that the controversial, modified Nike Air Max 97s are decorated with a pentagram pendant, pentagram designs on the heel and an inverted cross on the tongue pull-tab. The sole air bubble contains 60 cc of ink and one drop of human blood, according to MSCHF statement. A MSCHF company spokesperson confirmed Monday that all 666 pairs of shoes initially offered, had been sold.
Nike filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in the Eastern District of New York arguing that MSCHF’s design creates a “likelihood of injury to Nike’s business reputation and goodwill,” according to Newsweek.
The suit alleges that MSCHF’s “Satan Shoes” created a “likelihood of consumer confusion, mistake, and deception as to the source of origin or relationship of Nike's products and has otherwise competed unfairly by unlawfully trading on and using Nike’s trademarks without permission,” Newsweek reported.
Additionally, Nike argued that it must hold control over its brand “by setting the record straight” on what products can feature its iconic “SWOOSH” logo, NBC News reported.
“In fact, there is already evidence of significant confusion and dilution occurring in the marketplace, including calls to boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF’s Satan Shoes based on the mistaken belief that Nike has authorized or approved this product,” the lawsuit stated, according to NBC News.
One anticipated defense to the Nike lawsuit could be the “Fair Use Doctrine.” Fair Use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. ... Nature of the copyrighted work: This factor analyzes the degree to which the work that was used relates to copyright's purpose of encouraging creative expression.
In a statement obtained by The Hill, Nike said it does “not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF,” adding that the shoes were “produced without Nike’s approval or authorization, and Nike is in no way connected with this project.”
The rapper acknowledged Nike's suit on Twitter, joking that it could leave him penniless.
The release of the shoes sparked controversy, with evangelical pastor Mark Burns calling the sneakers “evil” and “heresy” and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) engaging in a war of words with Lil Nas X on Twitter.
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