Hermes wins U.S. trademark trial over 'MetaBirkin' NFTs

<html xmlns=""><head><title>UPDATE 2-Hermes wins U.S. trademark trial over 'MetaBirkin' NFTs</title></head><body>

Updates headline, adds verdict details, background

By Blake Brittain

Feb 8 (Reuters) -A Manhattan federal jury on Wednesday concluded that an artist's non-fungible token versions of Hermes' HRMS.PA famous Birkin bags violated the French fashion house's trademark rights.

In one of the first intellectual-property trials over the popular digital tokens known as NFTs, the jury found artist Mason Rothschild's unauthorized "MetaBirkins" were likely to confuse consumers.

The jury awarded Hermes $133,000 in damages for trademark infringement, dilution, and cybersquatting, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York confirmed.

Rothschild's attorneyRhett Millsaps called the result a"terrible day for artists and the First Amendment." Representatives for Hermes did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The case has been closely watched for its potential to clarify how trademark law will apply to NFTs, which are unique tokens on blockchain networks often used to verify ownership of digital art.

Hermes' prized leather Birkin handbags typically sell for tens of thousands of dollars each. The company has sold over $1 billion worth of Birkins in the United States, including more than $100 million worth in the past ten years, according to a court document.

The fashion house sued Rothschild last year over his MetaBirkins, 100 NFTs associated with images depicting the bags covered in colorful fur.

Hermes in its lawsuit called Rothschild a "digital speculator" and the NFTs a "get rich quick" scheme. It said Rothschild began offering the NFTs at the Art Basel art fair in Miami in December 2021, and over $1 million worth of them had been traded by early the next month.

The luxury house has its own plans for NFTs that Rothschild hindered, it said in a court filing.

Rothschild, whose legal name is Sonny Estival, argued that the works are an absurdist statement on luxury goods and immune from the lawsuit based on First Amendment protections for art.

The case is Hermes International v. Rothschild, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:22-cv-00384.

Editing by David Bario and Diane Craft


Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Read more or change your cookie settings.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.