Hermes urges court to deter Rothschild from owning and sponsoring “MetaBirkin” NFTs

Hermes urges court to deter Rothschild from owning and sponsoring “MetaBirkin” NFTs

The renowned French powerhouse Hermes has urged the court in Manhattan to dissuade Mason Rothschild from holding or sponsoring his NFT collection, “MetaBirkin,” after a jury verdict that declared the collection had infringed on Hermes trademark rights.

Request for a court injunction 

A report pioneered by Reuters specified that Hermes wrote to Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Manhattan federal court on Feb. 3, indicating that artist Rothschild was adamant about respecting the jury verdict by continuing to market his MetaBirkins NFT.

The company urged the court to force the artist to comply with the verdict. The ruling had ordered Rothschild to halt supporting “Birkin” trademarks and hand over the MetaBirkins domain names, social media sites, available NFTs, and revenue from sales of NFTs to Hermes.

The latest filing indicated that Rothschild continues to get royalties of 7.5% from the LooksRare marketplace from every sale made. Also, the artist has been sponsoring the MetaBirkin NFTs through social media accounts and its main website, even after the landmark February verdict. Hermes insisted that a permanent injunction was crucial since Rothschild could not be trusted following the events of the trials where he persistently made falsified statements.

However, Rothschild’s lead counsel, Rhett Millsaps, indicated that they would vehemently oppose the motion filed by Hermes. He termed the filing a “gross overreach” geared towards punishing Rothschild since Hermes didn’t like his art. He is likely to file a response by the end of the week.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) enable artists and companies to own digital art in blockchain networks. Rothschild created a 100 NFT collection named MetaBirkins that depicted the handbags made by Hermes.

Last year the French company Hermes accused Rothschild of trademark infringement since the artist used the iconic “Birkin” image. According to the fashion house, Rothschild created a “get rich quick” structure that yielded more than $1 million in just a month.

Rothschild opposed the statements by the fashion house, citing its immunity from the lawsuit through protection by the First Amendment. In February, a jury sitting in the Manhattan federal court disagreed with the defense by Rothschild and ruled in favor of Hermes. 

The court reached a verdict that Mason Rothschild contravened Hermes trademark protection. The MetaBirkins NFT collection did not depict artistic commentary and thus was not protected by the First Amendment.  The Manhattan federal court awarded Hermes $133,000 as compensation for damages.

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