Nike filed a federal lawsuit alleging trademark infringement against a Brooklyn company that made the customized Nike Air Max 97s with “satanic-themed detailing” backed by Lil Nas X.
The company, MSCHF Product Studio Inc., released 666 pairs on Monday and Complex reports they quickly sold out — the shoes cost $1,018 per pair.
In the lawsuit it filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York, Nike claims the shoes were “done without Nike’s approval or authorization, and Nike is in no way connected with this project,” the Portland Business Journal reports.
Nike wants a federal judge to order the destruction of the shoes and to award Nike any profits earned by MSCHF from the sales of the shoes. The company also seeks punitive damages, the article states.
The lawsuit notes social media criticism of Nike as a result of the release, including one social media post that noted, “Won’t buy Nike again.”
OutKick asked Nike for comment Monday, and the sportswear company said they do not have any further details to share on pending legal matters, but released the following statement.
“Nike filed a trademark infringement and dilution complaint against MSCHF today related to the Satan Shoes.– Nike
… We can tell you we do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF. The Satan Shoes were produced without Nike’s approval or authorization, and Nike is in no way connected with this project.”
In the lawsuit filed Monday — and in the statement provided to OutKick — Nike argues that the ‘Satan Shoe’ appears endorsed or created by the company, which Nike argues is creating confusion and hurting the brand.
“By virtue of the acts complained of herein, MSCHF has created a likelihood of injury to Nike’s business reputation and goodwill, caused a likelihood of consumer confusion, mistake, and deception as to the source of origin or relationship of Nike’s products and MSCHF’s Satan Shoes, and has otherwise competed unfairly by unlawfully trading on and using Nike’s [trademarks] without Nike’s permission,” Nike argues. “Unless stopped, MSCHF’s Satan Shoes and [its] use of Nike’s marks will continue to cause confusion in the marketplace, including but not limited to initial interest confusion, post-sale confusion, [and] confusion in the secondary sneakers markets.”
MSCHF previously released the custom, limited “Jesus Shoes” Walk on Holy Water With the Biblical MSCHF x INRI Air Max 97 Custom
Filled with 60cc of Holy Water drawn from the River Jordan.
“The pair have been filled with 60cc of water that was originally sourced from the River Jordan and then blessed, meaning wearers are able to, theoretically, walk on Holy Water,” the HypeBeast release reads. “MSCHF continues its biblical references with a nod to The Vatican, who is known for their intricate jewels and traditional red shoes.”
The release states that the customized pair features red insoles that have been scented with frankincense and include a steel crucifix on the shoelaces, Matthew 14:25 inscription on the toe box, and an all-around muted water-themed colorway with red accents.
Nike did not take legal action for the same company’s release of the “Jesus Shoes,” but it sold just 24 pairs of the “Jesus” sneakers, compared to 666 of the Satan version. The shoes were released in October 2019.
It is not known at this time whether its failure to take legal action then will play a role in the current lawsuit.