Nike has picked a fight with sneaker and apparel marketplace StockX, claiming they are selling counterfeit Nike shoes. The spat between the two began when athletic wear giant hauled StockX to court over unauthorised NFTs sold by the reseller in a trademark infringement case. Nike claimed that the NFTs’ unauthorised images of Nike shoes were “blatant freeriding” on the trademark.
The sportswear giant has since added a counterfeiting claim to their lawsuit, saying that the marketplace was selling fake sneakers to their customers. One of the most appealing elements of buying from StockX for the average Joe is their promise that the products you buy on the platform are 100% authenticated. They say, “every item sold goes through our proprietary multi-step verification process with our team of expert authenticators.” This process is supposed to provide the buyer with the peace of mind that they are purchasing original products and not counterfeit.
In one of the most bizarre hypebeast trends of the past few years, sneakerheads began leaving the green StockX tag on sneakers bought off the platform while wearing them. The peacocking was to signify that your sneakers are indeed legit as they’d gone through the authentication process. Hopefully this trend withers away after Nike’s latest battle with StockX.
In their court filing yesterday in New York’s Southern District, Nike said it purchased four pairs of counterfeit shoes from the platform. Court documents say, “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.”
They add, “Nike is all the more concerned that StockX has linked the infringing Nike-branded NFTs to counterfeit goods and sold those ‘claim tickets’ to fake shoes at heavily-inflated prices to consumers who had no opportunity to inspect the shoes before reselling the NFT to another unsuspecting consumer.”
UPDATE: StockX has issued a statement saying:
“We take customer protection extremely seriously, and we’ve invested millions to fight the proliferation of counterfeit products that virtually every global marketplace faces today. Nike’s latest filing is not only baseless but also is curious given that their own brand protection team has communicated confidence in our authentication program, and that hundreds of Nike employees—including current senior executives—use StockX to buy and sell products. This latest tactic 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. Nike’s challenge has no merit and clearly demonstrates their lack of understanding of the modern marketplace.”