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Hermès Wins Landmark Lawsuit Over ‘MetaBirkin’ NFT

An artist who sold a non-fungible token featuring a digital depiction of a Birkin handbag was ordered to pay $133,000 in damages to brand owner Hermès. .

Attorney for artist Mason Rothschild said he has commented on allegations of animal cruelty involved in the production of leather goods and should be protected by the rights of artistic expression. claimed. 1st Amendment to the Constitution.

Rothschild’s lawyers compared his client’s work to that of pop artist Andy Warhol, who painted Campbell’s soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles in a “stylized but distinctly recognizable way.” .

But the lawyer HermesWith the original physical Birkin bag priced in the $9,000 to $500,000 range, Rothschild allegedly “stole the goodwill of Hermès’ famous intellectual property to create and market its own line of products.” condemned.

They argued that customers were likely to confuse Rothschild’s ‘Metabirkin’ NFTs His website URL was too similar to that of a luxury goods company.

Rothschild has created a digital art collection to be published in 2021. This included 100 of his furry, fluffy Birkin bags. The colorful design was born amid the hype around NFT technology when many major designers and his brands were trying to create their own collections.

This collection sold over 200 Ethereum (approximately $790,000 at the time). Hermes complained and later sued. accuse the artist of infringing its trademark.

After just two days of deliberation, the jury awarded Hermès $110,000 for intellectual property infringement and $23,000 for cybersquatting.

Rothschild’s attorney, Jonathan Harris, said the decision was “a good day for luxury brands” and a “bad day for artists”.

We’ve reached out to Hermès for comment, but have yet to hear back.

The lawsuit has been closely followed by legal experts as well as the world’s largest retailers and luxury brands, with big names such as Nike, Gucci and Balenciaga making inroads into NFTs and the Metaverse.

Luxury brands are keen to test the promotional potential of new digital platforms, but are cautious due to concerns over intellectual property and brand image risks.

Gaëtan Cordier, a partner at Eversheds Sutherland in Paris, told NFT developers, “In the absence of specific regulations, the internet as well as the physical world will still be applicable to NFTs.”

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https://www.ft.com/content/5f40179e-7124-4479-8124-df193c49c276 Hermès Wins Landmark Lawsuit Over ‘MetaBirkin’ NFT

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