Nike is waging an all-out war with the devil. The clothing company has successfully blocked the sale of Lil Nas X’s “” – for now.
On Wednesday, a US district court in New York approved Nike’s request for a temporary restraining order against MSCHF, the art collective that collaborated with the rapper to create a pair of sneakers containing “a drop.” of human blood. They used modified Nike Air Max 97 for the collaboration.
“Nike today filed a trademark infringement and dilution complaint against MSCHF in relation to Satan shoes,” Nike told CBS News in a statement Thursday. “We have no further details to share on pending legal matters. However, we can tell you that we do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF. The Satan shoes were produced without the approval or authorization of Nike, and Nike is in no way related to with this project “.
The court order states that the Brooklyn-based agency cannot comply with any order. During a court hearing Thursday morning, MSCHF’s lawyer said that the majority of the shoes, more than 600 pairs, have already been shipped to individual consumers, arguing that this made Nike’s claims irrelevant.
Nike’s lawyer said he had “serious doubts” that MSCHF could ship and deliver the 665 pairs of shoes in recent days. Even if they had, argued the lawyer, that would not eliminate the “irreparable damage” caused by the shoes.
He argued that shipping the shoes does not eliminate the “post-sale confusion and deception” experienced by Nike customers. Nike said MSCHF’s social media and marketing materials featured Nike’s “swoosh” branding prominently, without public resignations or dissociations from Nike.
Nike said some customers are now boycotting the brand online because of its apparent association with Satan. The company wants MSCHF to stop all orders currently in transit and retrieve them.
On Monday, 665 pairs of devil-themed sneakers, priced at $ 1,018, sold out in just one minute. Fans were able to enter a drawing to win the final pair of shoes number 666, but lawyers said the raffle is currently on hold.
During the court hearing, MSCHF stated that shoes are art, a critique of the collaborative culture and a critique of how “Nike will collaborate with anyone.” The attorneys referenced the supplemental artwork, the “, “which had” an equally great social impact “but did not face a lawsuit.
MSCHF made a similar argument in a statement to CBS News. “Heresy only exists in relation to doctrine,” the company said. “Who is Nike to censor one and not the other?”
The MSCHF lawyer also alleged that the buyers of the shoes are sophisticated sneakerheads, that they would not believe that the shoes were affiliated with Nike and that they do not plan to wear them in public, but to display them as art. Nike refuted this claim, pointing to a picture of Miley Cyrus wearing the sneakers in an Instagram post for its 127 million followers.
The lawsuit is ongoing and MSCHF said it will not sell any more pairs of Satan shoes, adding that “there are no more shoes.”
The controversial sneakers, denounced by countless conservative politicians and religious leaders, feature a bronze pentagram, the number “666” and a small amount of human blood obtained from the MSCHF team.
The price is a reference to the biblical passage from Luke 10:18, which reads, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven,” the collective told CBS News. The release coincided with Lil Nas X’s new song and music video for “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),” in which the 21-year-old tries to seduce a horned demon in tribute to hisof his strange identity.
Earlier this week, Nike told CBS News that it was not involved in the design or launch of the shoes with the Grammy-winning artist or art collective.
“We don’t endorse them,” the company said Monday.
Later that day, Nikeagainst MSCHF, arguing that the swoosh violates their trademark and damages their brand.
The sneaker giant argued that the shoes are likely to “cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF and Nike products,” claiming that “there is already evidence of significant confusion and dilution in the marketplace, including calls for boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF’s Satan Shoes based on the mistaken belief that Nike has licensed or approved this product. ”
“As a direct and proximate result of the wrongful acts of MSCHF, Nike has suffered, continues to suffer and / or is likely to suffer damage to its trademarks, business reputation and goodwill that money cannot compensate,” the lawsuit adds. “Unless otherwise stated, MSCHF will continue to use Nike’s declared trademarks and / or similar marks that are likely to create confusion and cause irreparable harm to Nike for which Nike does not have an adequate legal remedy.”
The rapper, born Montero Lamar Hill, did not shy away from disapproval online, even jokes about going to court with Nike.
However, also tweeted On Monday that “backlash” is taking an “emotional toll.”
“I try to cover it with humor, but it’s getting difficult,” he said. “My anxiety is higher than ever.” Lil Nas X is not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.
In its statement Thursday, MSCHF told CBS News that it “strongly believes in freedom of expression” adding that “nothing is more important than our ability and the ability of other artists like us to continue our work for years to come.” . . “
“We look forward to working with Nike and the court to resolve this case in the fastest manner,” the company said.