Nike filed a lawsuit against the company’s sale on MondayArguing the swoosh on the disputed shoe violates its trademark and damages its brand. The lawsuit comes on the same day as the release of the shoes, which contain a bronze pentagram, the number “666” and a small amount of human blood.
The shoes, a collaboration betweenand New York-based art collective MSCHF are modified versions of Nike Air Max 97s – and the signature of the brand “SWOOSH” is clearly visible on the side of the shoe and on its tongue. The shoes, which sold out in minutes, sold for $ 1,018 – a reference to Luke 10:18, which says, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning.”
The satanic images of the shoes received strong reactions online – including from Kristi Noem, Governor of South Dakota, who shared a picture of the shoes in addition to warning that “we are in a battle for the soul of our nation”.
Nike referred to this controversy in its lawsuit, which asked the court to force MSCHF to stop producing the shoes and to provide monetary damages for the financial damage the company suffered.
The company argued that the shoes “are likely to cause confusion and dilution, and create a flawed link between MSCHF and Nike’s products,” claiming that there is already evidence of significant confusion and dilution in the market, including calls to boycott Nike Responding to MSCHF’s launch of Satan Shoes for mistakenly believing that Nike authorized or approved this product. ”
“As a direct and immediate result of MSCHF’s illegal actions, Nike has suffered, continues to suffer and / or is likely to suffer damage to its brands, corporate reputation and goodwill that cannot be offset by money,” the lawsuit added . “Unless otherwise instructed, MSCHF will continue to use Nike’s claimed trademarks and / or confusingly similar trademarks and cause irreparable damage to Nike for which Nike has no legal remedy.”
MSCHF did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request to comment on the lawsuit, despite previously saying, “We expected the backlash and we are all for it.”
This isn’t the first time MSCHF has released modified Nikes. In 2019, the company dropped “Jesus Shoes,” a pair of Air Max 97s modified with holy water and a gold crucifix. The release of Satan Shoes is tied to Lil Nas X’s new song “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”.
Lil Nas X responded to the lawsuit on Twitter and posted a “SpongeBob SquarePants” meme from a character begging for money, titled “Me after the Nike lawsuit.” The artist is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Sophie Lewis contributed to the coverage.