Luxury house Hermés has come out of its usually tight-lipped shell to sue creator, Mason Rothschild, for the alleged “trademark infringement” displayed in his non-fungible token (NFT) ‘Metabirkins’.
A 47-page complaint submitted to New York’s Southern District Court, and reported by The Fashion Law, has accused Rothschild of adopting a ‘get rich quick scheme’ by “appropriating the brand Metabirkins for use in creating, marketing, selling and facilitating the exchange of digital assets”.
Rothschild’s Metabirkin NFTs became a viral hit in December, with the first item of the drop selling for 42,000 dollars. The virtual artwork consists of digital recreations of Hermés’ iconic Birkin bag, which typically sell for over 10,000 dollars in the real world.
The NFT versions were later removed from the digital platform, OpenSea, following a cease and desist letter from the luxury brand. However, Rothschild maintained his position and continued to market them through his website, noting in a statement to Business of Fashion that his “artworks” are only depictions of the real thing.
In the complaint, Hermés further accused Rothschild’s activations surrounding the digital bags of causing damages to the Birkin mark, stating that “the title of ‘artist’ does not confer a license to use an equivalent to the famous Birkin trademark”. It additionally commented that his manner is “calculated to mislead consumers”.