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Hermes succeeds in landmark NFT trade mark dispute

Hermes has succeeded in a claim for trade mark infringement relating to the use of their well-known Birkin bag in the metaverse.  

Hermes sued Mason Rothschild after he created non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on the famous bag. Whilst Rothschild tried to argue that they should be treated as works of art akin to Andy Warhol, who created art works based on items such as Campbell's soup cans and Coca-Cola bottles, a New York jury disagreed, awarding Hermes $133,000 in damages. The jury upheld Hermes' argument that customers were likely to confuse Rothschild’s “MetaBirkin” NFTs with genuine Hermes products, and furthermore, that his website URL was too similar to that of the luxury goods company. 

This is a useful start for brand owners hoping to gain some clarification on how trade mark rights will be treated in the metaverse.

The court's decision will be closely watched by other brands seeking to clarify trade mark rules around NFTs.


brands, brands designs copyright, digital disruption, it and digital, nfts, trade mark and design