Nike ramps up sneaker NFT lawsuit with StockX counterfeiting claim

People walk past a Nike Inc store at a shopping complex in Beijing
REUTERS/Florence Lo/File Photo
  • Nike said it ordered four pairs of counterfeit shoes through StockX
  • StockX called Nike's new claims "baseless"

(Reuters) - Nike Inc told a Manhattan federal court that online reseller StockX LLC has been offering counterfeits of its shoes, building on its existing lawsuit accusing StockX of violating its trademarks by selling digital images of Nike shoes in the form of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

Nike said Tuesday in a proposed amended complaint that it recently bought counterfeit shoes through StockX despite the platform's claims that its NFTs are part of a process to guarantee its shoes' authenticity.

StockX fired back at the shoe giant in a statement Wednesday, calling the filing "baseless" and accusing Nike of "panicked and desperate" tactics. The company also said Nike's claims were "curious given that their own brand protection team has communicated confidence in our authentication program, and that hundreds of Nike employees – including current senior executives – use StockX to buy and sell products."

Nike and a lawyer for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nike sued StockX in February for allegedly selling unauthorized NFTs of its sneakers. It argued the digital assets were likely to cause customer confusion with Nike, which began offering NFTs last month.

StockX first responded to the claims in March. It said it was only using NFTs to authenticate its physical shoes, not selling them as standalone products, and that Nike was trying to interfere with its sneaker sales.

Nike said Tuesday in a request to file an updated complaint that it had recently bought four pairs of counterfeit shoes from StockX that the reseller had "verified authentic," including one pair that matched a StockX NFT.

Nike asked the court to let it add a counterfeiting claim against StockX, as well as a claim that the platform falsely advertised its authentication process.

Nike also said StockX's NFTs had caused actual confusion since Nike began selling its own digital tokens, and asked the court to let it add new details in its revised lawsuit.

The case is Nike Inc v. StockX LLC, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:22-cv-00983.

For Nike: Tamar Duvdevani of DLA Piper

For StockX: Megan Bannigan of Debevoise & Plimpton, David Mayberry of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

Read more:

Nike cries foul over virtual shoes, suing retailer that sells sneaker NFTs

StockX strikes back at Nike in NFT lawsuit

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, for Reuters Legal. He has previously written for Bloomberg Law and Thomson Reuters Practical Law and practiced as an attorney. Contact: 12029385713