from the good-luck-getting-those-shoes-back dept
There were actually a whole bunch of interesting legal questions raised by Nike’s trademark lawsuit against MSCHF the weird “structured chaos” organization that seems to basically sell publicity stunts as a business model. It had teamed up with the musician Lil Nas X to sell 666 pairs of upgrade Nike Air Max 97, complete with red ink (and, it claimed, a single drop of blood) inserted in the sole of the shoe. The lawsuit raised issues regarding first sale/resale rights, art, freedom of expression, trademark, ownership, property, dilution, confusion and more. And… all of it’s going nowhere, because a settlement has been reached.
This isn’t that much of a surprise. MSCHF execs have admitted in the past that lawsuits only raise their profile, which may be true, but they’re also crazy fucking expensive. MSCHF already got the benefit of the publicity bump from the lawsuit, and now probably sought to get things done and over with as quickly as possible — and that includes agreeing to issue a “voluntary recall” of the shoes — 665 pairs of which it had already shipped out. MSCHF also agreed to do the same thing for the much smaller number of Jesus shoes it had sold two years ago in a similar stunt.
Of course, the whole thing seems like a charade. It’s a voluntary recall, in which MSCHF is supposed to buy back the shoes at their original retail prices “in order to remove them from circulation.” But, uh, anyone who has those shoes in their possession now knows that these shoes are way more valuable because of this dispute. I’d be amazed if anyone actually agreed to sell the shoes back to MSCHF, because these shoes just went from already established rare collector’s items, to rare collector’s items with an even more insane story including the fact that Nike wants them to disappear.
In some ways, this form of settlement just shows how ridiculous the lawsuit was in the first place. Nike’s statement on the settlement is hilarious:
?As part of the settlement, Nike has asked MSCHF, and MSCHF has agreed, to initiate a voluntary recall to buy back any Satan Shoes and Jesus Shoes for their original retail prices, in order to remove them from circulation. If any purchasers were confused, or if they otherwise want to return their shoes, they may do so for a full refund. Purchasers who choose not to return their shoes and later encounter a product issue, defect, or health concern should contact MSCHF, not Nike.?
I mean, c’mon. No one who bought this shoe was “confused.” No one’s going to want to return it. And, no one’s going to contact Nike about any “defect” or “health concern.” The whole thing is silly. And yes, that’s even though there were some foolish pundits on certain infamous news channels who tried to make a culture war issue falsely claiming Nike was making these shoes. So, sure, Nike can point to the lawsuit as proof they had nothing to do with the shoes, but responding to the brigade of trumped up controversial people is lame. Pretty much everything about this story has been about posturing, rather than anything substantive.