“MetaBirkin” Real Life Trademark Infringement On International Luxury Fashion Brand Hermès — NFTs.
Last month, a Federal Judge in the Second District ruled in favor of Hermes for a new trial. Hermes had made the motion for a new trial over the marketing and sale of non-fungible tokens that linked images believed to be uncannily similar to Hermes’ famed Birkin bag. The decision is a curveball to the lawsuit that began last February over the existence of these tokens.
Hermes, the world-famous fashion retailer, owns trademark rights to the Birkin name and its associated branding. This case offers the fashion industry the first test of intellectual property (IP) rights in the age of virtual assets and whether or not NFTs are legal commodities or art protected under the first amendment.
This lawsuit arose out of Mason Rothschild’s creation of ‘MetaBirkins,’ NFTs of Birkin bags that contained features such as mammoth tusks, the Grinch’s famous green fur, Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, among other designs. Hermes sought to enforce IP protections by suing Rothschild, alleging trademark dilution and that the goods were potentially misleading.
For a fashion designer aspiring to achieve the Hermes level of brand recognition, this case offers valuable insight on how emerging fashion designers can utilize IP protection to build and enforce brand recognition and loyalty among their customers, and, most importantly, to protect the work that they’ve built.
How You Can Utilize Trademark Protection To Become The Next Hermes:
Hermes successfully protected its intellectual property by applying, and receiving approval, for a trademark. Even as an emerging designer, you can still do the same with your logo. A trademark offers a business a multitude of advantages as it grows and legally, should a brand ever be counterfeited or infringe upon its trademark rights.
A federally registered trademark provides nationwide notice of ownership of the logo and protection against a “good faith” claim from others wrongfully using the logo.
Even while you are growing your brand, you do not have to wait until you have recognition similar to Hermes. You can take steps to protect your brand by utilizing trademark protection. If you have a logo or design that you are looking to protect, or want to create a logo for your business, please feel free to reach out to ArtWorks.