Hermès Cements Trademark Win Over ‘MetaBirkin’ NFTs

In a significant development following Hermès‘ legal victory over Mason Rothschild, a federal judge in Manhattan has issued an order permanently banning Rothschild from selling his controversial MetaBirkins NFTs. This final request from Hermès solidifies the company’s win in the trademark dispute that unfolded earlier this year. The ruling, delivered by Judge Jed Rakoff, comes as a culmination of the case and reinforces Hermès’ claims against Rothschild.

The Jury’s Verdict: Rothschild as a Swindler

Image for figurative purpose only

Back in February, a jury sided with Hermès, concluding that Rothschild had violated the company’s trademark for Birkin handbags with his collection of 100 “MetaBirkins” NFTs. These digital tokens were associated with images of fur-covered, patterned handbags. In the filing, Judge Rakoff highlights the jury’s determination that Rothschild was essentially a swindler, as Hermès successfully proved that he had intentionally misled consumers by creating the impression that Hermès was endorsing his products.

Damages Awarded and Permanent Injunction Imposed

As a result of the jury’s verdict, Hermès was awarded $133,000 in damages. This decision affirmed that Rothschild’s NFT collection does not fall under the umbrella of protected free speech. The recent order issued by Judge Rakoff permanently prohibits Rothschild from marketing, selling, and minting MetaBirkins NFTs, as well as making any statements that could associate MetaBirkins with Hermès in the future.

Restrictions and Airdrops

The injunction further restricts Rothschild from offering benefits to MetaBirkins holders that would incentivize their purchase, such as airdrops. However, he is required to airdrop the court order from Friday to current token holders. These measures reflect the court’s determination to curtail Rothschild’s activities related to MetaBirkins and prevent any future deceptive practices.

Protecting Intellectual Property in the NFT Realm

Hermès’ legal action against Rothschild sheds light on the challenges faced by brands when it comes to safeguarding their intellectual property in the context of NFTs. The emergence of NFTs as a popular form of digital collectibles has prompted big brands to explore opportunities in this space. However, they must navigate the complexities of a decentralized and permissionless culture.

Rothschild’s Liabilities and Misleading Consumers

The court’s ruling in February held Rothschild liable for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and cybersquatting. Despite his defense of artistic expression, the jury found that Rothschild intentionally misled consumers regarding Hermès’ endorsement of the MetaBirkins project. Subsequently, in a March filing, Hermès accused Rothschild of continuing to promote the sale of MetaBirkins NFTs while seeking royalties from those sales.

Transfer of Ownership and Domain Name Relinquishment

Hermès requested that Rothschild be compelled to transfer the MetaBirkins NFTs he still owns to a wallet designated by the company. Additionally, Hermès sought control over the collection’s Ethereum smart contract. However, Judge Rakoff opted for a narrower injunction, acknowledging that MetaBirkins NFTs are, to some extent, works of art. While Rothschild can retain ownership of the NFTs, he must surrender any domain names associated with Hermès Birkins’ trademark, including metabirkins.com, by July 15. Hermès will subsequently archive the transferred domain name.

Implications for the NFT Landscape

The judgment in the Hermès vs. Rothschild case carries significant implications for the NFT landscape. It underscores the importance of protecting intellectual property and preventing deceptive practices within this emerging market. Brands must carefully consider their strategies when engaging with NFTs, balancing the opportunities for innovation with the need to safeguard their trademarks and brand integrity.

As the NFT space continues to evolve, legal battles and judgments like these will shape the way intellectual property is handled within this unique digital realm.



  1. Richard Wilson Avatar
    Richard Wilson

    In a significant legal win for Hermès, a federal judge has issued a permanent ban on the sale of Mason Rothschild’s MetaBirkins NFTs. The ruling solidifies Hermès’ victory in the trademark dispute that unfolded earlier this year. Judge Jed Rakoff’s decision serves as a culmination of a rigorous legal process, affirming Hermès’ ownership rights over the iconic Birkin brand. By blocking the sale of the controversial NFTs, the judge has protected Hermès’ trademark and reinforced the importance of intellectual property rights in the digital realm. This outcome not only establishes Hermès’ triumph in this particular case but also sets a significant precedent for future NFT-related disputes and the preservation of established luxury brands.

  2. Andrew Milo Avatar
    Andrew Milo

    Hermès’ recent trademark win over ‘Metabirkin’ NFTs provides valuable insights into the protection of brand trademarks in the rapidly growing NFT market. As a renowned luxury brand, Hermès successfully defended its trademark against unauthorized use in digital assets. This case underscores the significance of enforcing intellectual property rights in the digital realm and sets an important precedent for other brands and creators. It serves as a reminder for stakeholders in the NFT space to respect established trademarks and copyrights, fostering a responsible and legally compliant environment for the evolving digital art market.

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