Despite a jury verdict in February, one of the most high-profile legal battles involving non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is yet to die off. While the jury sided with Hermès in its case against MetaBirkin NFTs creator Mason Rothschild, the French luxury brand is back in court, this time seeking to block any sales or promotions of the NFT collection.
Rothschild’s legal battle with Hermes over the Metabirkin NFT collection saw the two argue in court over whether the artist had infringed on the company’s intellectual property. Rothschild argued that his collection was an artistic expression protected by the First Amendment, while Hermès claimed he violated its trademark protections.
In February, a jury in New York sided with Hermès, awarding the company $133,000 in damages.
Despite the jury ruling, Rothschild has continued promoting the MetaBirkin NFT collection, the company’s latest court filing alleges. He has also continued to benefit financially from the collection, earning 7.5% in royalties from each sale.
Hermès is seeking a permanent injunction, asking that Rothschild and his team be “permanently restrained and enjoyed from directly or indirectly” creating or selling NFTs that use the Birkin trademark. Birkins are signature bags by Hermès named after the English actress Jane Birkin.
Hermès further requests that the court order Rothschild to transfer any MetaBirkins in his ownership to the company. It also wants to be handed the collection’s domain name and social media pages.
Rothschild, whose real name is Sonny Estival, has until March 10 to respond. In a statement, his lawyer, Rhett O Millsaps II, criticized the latest move by the French company, describing it as a gross overreach.
“As plaintiffs, Hermès gets to file their argument first. This case is far from over. This latest filing is a gross overreach by Hermès and an attempt to punish Mr. Rothschild because they don’t like his art, but what’s new? Mr. Rothschild will be responding in the Court in due course,” Millsaps stated.
The Hermès vs. Rothschild legal battle could significantly impact the future of IP rights in the NFT world. With February’s jury ruling, the court set a precedent that will, in the future, allow brands to legally protect their IP against NFT-related infringement.
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