Nike is the latest brand to fall into legal battle with another retailer for the use of counterfeit products. Of course counterfeit happens often, and if caught, could come with serious consequences. So is the case between Nike and StockX, the popular online retailer famous for selling sneakers.
Nike claims that they purchased 4 pairs of counterfeit shoes (Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG) on StockX. Furious at the retailer’s promise to only market authentic footwear, they took matters into legal hands. “Those four pairs of counterfeit shoes were all purchased within a short two-month period on StockX’s platform, all had affixed to them StockX’s ‘Verified Authentic’ hangtag, and all came with a paper receipt from StockX in the shoe box stating that the condition of the shoes is ‘100% Authentic,'” Nike said in a recent statement.
The lawsuit came out in February in Manhattan, with Nike claiming they “blatantly free-rided” their trademarks. StockX clapped back and said that the sneakers that appear online are digital NFT listings for physical sneakers that are actually in their vault and traded by others. Like any retailer who falls under scrutiny, StockX of course said that they take the matter very seriously and, “fight to proliferate counterfeit products that virtually every global marketplace faces today.”
It’s awkward because StockX, (valued at $3.8 billion), has a huge community — including Nike employees — who sell and buy their products. AKA, there could be a large community profiting from these fake products.
The move by Nike “amounts to nothing more than a panicked and desperate attempt to resuscitate its losing legal case against our innovative Vault NFT program that revolutionizes the way that consumers can buy, store, and sell collectibles safely, efficiently, and sustainably,” StockX says. “Nike’s challenge has no merit and clearly demonstrates their lack of understanding of the modern marketplace.”
If you ask me, the entire situation is tough. It looks bad on StockX, potentially selling fake shoes, and on Nike, for not being able to catch it. And then, of course, it looks bad for the customers, who mistakenly spent tons of money on sneakers assumed to be authentic, just to find out they were a fake. Even if they do sell it, people will be upset to learn that their hard earned money was spent on something that isn’t real.
Photo via StockX