Nike is suing “Lil Nas X” over his controversial “satan shoes”. These shoes allegedly contain one drop of human blood in the soles. They went on sale last week for $1,018 per pair. Only 666 pairs were made available and sold out in under a minute after going on sale.
According to Nike, the shoes are unofficial designs of Nike’s trademark Air Max 97 design, but Nike claims that they had no involvement in the creation of the shoes.
The shoes drew a lot of attention and plenty of criticism. Kristi Noem, the Governor of South Dakota, said that, “our kids are being told that this kind of product, is not only ok, it’s exclusive”.
“We don’t have further details to share on pending legal matters. However, 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 to this project”, Nike told Fox in an official statement.
Some commentators have expressed concern at the latest product by the rapper, because he has said in the past that his biggest fanbase is made up of children. Now, he is promoting Satanic shoes and twerking on top of a representation of Satan in a music video. He really went out of his way to market to children and now he has done a complete 180. Satanism is not only condoned in our society but encouraged, while Christianity is openly mocked.
The shoes are emblazoned with typical Christian as well as occult iconography such as a red “666.” They also include a dangling and glittering inverted pentagram and “Luke 10:18″, which is the Bible scripture that reads, “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven”.
Regardless, the lawsuit is unrelated to the spiritual aspect. According to Nike’s statement the company that actually manufactured the shoes, MSCHF Product Studio, violated Nike’s trademark by manufacturing and selling the controversial shoes online.
Nike’s lawsuit is premised on two key ideas in trademark law: (1) a business’s trade name should (and legally must) be proactively protected against knockoff-hawking pretenders who would otherwise confuse consumers. (2) thereby harm a seller’s ability to maintain their goodwill in the marketplace. Here, there’s no pretense about rights or artistry (such as is common in copyright litigation), trademarks are all about capitalism.
Part of the lawsuit states, “Nike files this lawsuit to maintain control of its brand, to protect its intellectual property, and to clear the confusion and dilution in the marketplace by setting the record straight”. It continues, “Nike has not and does not approve or authorize MSCHF’s customized Satan Shoes. As an innovative brand that strives to push the envelope and do the right thing, Nike knows it may not please everyone all of the time. But decisions about what products to put the SWOOSH on belong to Nike, not to third parties like MSCHF. Nike requests that the Court immediately and permanently stop MSCHF from fulfilling all orders for its unauthorized Satan Shoes”.
Nike is seeking an injunction, various forms of damages, and they want every pair of Satan shoes in MSCHF possession. They also require any and all marketing materials related to the sneakers at issue destroyed.