Hermès requests court to halt sales of MetaBirkin NFTs

French luxury goods manufacturer Hermès has requested a federal court to effectively block Mason Rothschild from owning or marketing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) featuring the brand‘s Birkin handbags after winning a legal case against the artist.

According to Hermès, Rothschild has continued promoting his NFTs dubbed “MetaBirkin” even after the court imposed a hefty fine on the artist. That included marketing the tokens on his social media websites and receiving a 7.5% royalty for all their sales.

His attorney Rhett Millsaps argued they’ll be opposing the motion after calling it “a gross overreach by Hermès and an attempt to punish Mr. Rothschild because they don’t like his art,” according to Reuters.

The luxury brand had previously accused Rothschild of violating intellectual property rights over his MetaBirkins –  100 NFTs of the famed Hermès Birkin bag aimed at raising awareness of a “fur-free” campaign.

Hermès also called the artist a “digital speculator,” who managed to sell over $1 million (£833,640) worth of the tokens shortly after launch in a “get rich quick” scheme.

He was then ordered to pay $133,000 (about £110,565) in damages after a week-long trial.

According to the fashion house, Rothschild was “stealing the goodwill in Hermès’ famous intellectual property to create and sell his own line of products.” The brand’s famous items could, therefore, be confused with the artist’s NFTs, whose website’s URL, according to Hermès, is also all-too-similar to theirs.

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Rothschild, however, claimed that his work was a commentary on alleged animal cruelty involved in the production of leather goods that should fall under the Constitution’s First Amendment as an artistic expression.

Hermès highlighted that Rothschild has continued “acting as he has since November 2021” and needs to be permanently stopped as he has “shown that he cannot be trusted.”

Despite the digital nature of NFTs – tokens recorded on a blockchain, – MetaBirkins were nothing short of luxury products, trading at about 0.3 Ethereum – the currency used for purchasing – to 249 Ethereum at the time of sales (1 ETH = £1,303.50).

Blockchain & CryptoNews


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