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‘Satan Shoes’ - The Devil is in protecting the detail

‘Satan Shoes’ - The Devil is in protecting the detail

I am sure by now you may have heard about the IP battle which recently settled between MSCHF Product Studio and Nike in respect of the creation of ‘Satan Shoes’. Alongside the release of his new song Montero (Call Me By Your Name), Rapper Lil Nas X collaborated with a company called MSCHF Product Studio to create and sell 666 pairs of limited edition trainers named Satan Shoes, at the retail cost of $1,018 a pair. The trainers used were Nikes’ Air Max 97 which display the famous Nike ‘swoosh’ logo. The red and black trainers contained a drop of human blood within the sole, and displayed the printed reference ‘Luke 10:18’. Nike had not agreed to collaborate on this creation and sued MSCHF Product Studio for trade mark infringement.   

Why did Nike sue for trade mark infringement?

The answer is clear; they did not want their famous brand to become diluted through any negative connotations or confusion as to the origin of the controversial shoes.  A brand is an important aspect of a trade mark as it not only communicates the origin of a product, it tells the consumer about its quality, and brings to mind the brands; values, reputation, and level of success in the market. Companies like Nike spend a lot of time and money investing in their brand to give their goods and/or services the best possible chance at being lucrative, longstanding, and trusted marks within a competitive marketplace. Brand loyalty is extremely important in ensuring this success, and confusion in the minds of the consumer, especially in respect of the release of controversial goods or services, could cause permanent and irreparable harm to their reputation in the minds of consumers.

What are the details of the agreed settlement?

Nike chose to settle the case against MSCHF Product Studio. Settlement was agreed on the basis that the company would voluntarily repurchase any trainers sold to any consumer at the full retail value. The ‘Jesus Shoe’ which was an earlier collaboration in 2019, was also agreed to be part of the voluntary recall. However, the very public IP battle reaffirmed in the minds of the consumer the origin of the brand, and disassociated Nike from the creation of the shoes.

How can Thorntons Trade Mark Agency help?

The creation, protection, and maintenance of your trade mark is crucial to giving your brand the best opportunity to be successful. It is important to actively defend your trade mark from possible infringement.

If you are a registered trade mark owner and require support in defending your trade mark from infringement, we are happy to be of assistance. We have a team of trade mark experts, including a Trade Mark Attorney, with specialist knowledge and experience on hand to help you. We will guide you through the process, providing you with a bespoke service tailored to your business’s needs.

If you have any questions about Trade Marks, or if you need Trade Mark advice and support, please contact a member of Thorntons Trade Mark Agency on 03330 430350.

About the authors

Kirsty Stewart
Kirsty Stewart

Kirsty Stewart

Legal Director & Trade Mark Attorney

Intellectual Property, Trade Marks

Danielle Connell
Danielle Connell

Danielle Connell

Trainee Solicitor

For more information, contact Kirsty Stewart on +44 1382 346807.