Hermès Finally Wins Trademark Lawsuit Against MetaBirkin NFT Creator
In its year-long legal struggle with Mason Rothschild over his digital recreations of its renowned Birkin bag, a New York jury rendered a verdict in favor of the French luxury goods company.
Hermès International S.A., a French luxury goods firm, has won its legal battle with the maker of the famed MetaBirkin NFT collectibles that it claimed infringed on its trademark for Birkin handbags.
According to Bloomberg Law, a federal jury in Manhattan ruled in favor of Hermès on Wednesday, awarding the brand $133,000 in damages while noting that 100 MetaBirkin NFTs created on Ethereum by digital artist Mason Rothschild did not qualify as First Amendment-protected speech.
The unauthorized homage to Hermès’ expensive handbags debuted in late 2021. In December of the same year, the company alleged that the “NFTs breach Hermès’ intellectual property and trademark rights.” The luxury brand filed a lawsuit against Rothschild in January 2022.
Legal experts have monitored the hearings to determine what precedents they might make about NFTs, whose technical foundations pose concerns about how the law should apply to them. Although these technicalities were discussed during the trial, the majority of the evidence and witness testimony concentrated on more typical trademark disputes, such as whether Rothschild’s MetaBirkins misled consumers into thinking Hermès had collaborated on the project or in any other way approved it.
According to Hermès, the MetaBirkin NFTs have caused misunderstanding about its brand and products. Hermès stated in court that it intends to enter the NFT market, just like other premium brands like Louis Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana have.
Rothschild is required to make a total payment of $133,000 in damages, which includes the projected proceeds of $110,000 from the NFT sales and $23,000 for cybersquatting on the MetaBirkins.com domain.