Trademark war over MetaBirkin’s NFTs continues

Trademark war over MetaBirkin’s NFTs continues

MetaBirkins artist Mason Rothschild disputes his Hermès non-fungible token (NFT) copyright infringement ruling by questioning a previous ruling.

Rothschild’s lawyer claims that a California judge wrongly ruled that artist Ryder Ripps infringed on Bored Apes’ trademark.

Hermès Lawyers reject the intangible goods argument

The artist claims that the intangibility of his Hermès MetaBirkin NFT bag precludes it from falling under the Lanham Act, the law governing copyright infringement.

He disputes the recent ruling that Ripps illegally copied Bored Ape NFTs, which, despite being intangible, are still goods under the Lanham Act.

He argues that the ruling of a Dastar Corp Vs. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp case in 2023 confirmed that the Lanham Act applies only to confusion about the origin of tangible goods, excluding art.

“Yuga Labs’ use of the ‘Bored Ape’ mark identifies the creators of the Bored Ape images; The NFTs convey unique ownership of the image. Nothing about the use of that mark conveys information about the NFT as a tangible thing, only its relationship to an intangible work of art.”

Hermès lawyers said Rothschild is simply repeating arguments a California court previously rejected regarding the Bored Ape case. The plaintiff noted that Rothschild’s view of the trademark would permit widespread infringement.

Hermès Design Compared to the Mason Rothschild Collection
BIRKIN Handbag and MetaBirkin NFTs | Source: Lexology

In February, the firm initially convinced a New York jury that Rothschild violated intellectual property laws.

Last month, U.S. District Judge John Walter ruled that Ripps and Jeremy Cahen violated federal laws by adding the Bored Ape logo to sell copycat NFTS.

Yuga Labs accused the duo of making $500 million through a pump-and-dump scheme selling fake Bored Ape tokens. The pair built social media trust for the collection by using Yuga Lab’s trademarks.

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Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs are a high-profile collection of cartoon monkeys that became a status symbol during the 2021 crypto bull market.

BAYC sales volume
BAYC Sales Volume | Source: CryptoSlam

Although interest has since cooled, the collection has recorded $2.8 billion in sales volume since its inception.

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