This week marks the end of the first intellectual property trial over NFTs that involved Hermès and Mason Rothschild’s NFT project “MetaBirkins”.
Yesterday, a Manhattan federal jury ruled that the artist’s NFT version of Hermès’ famous Birkin bag violated trademark rights, awarding Hermès $133,000 in damages.
Rothschild launched MetaBirkins in 2021, shortly after the success of Baby Birkin, a one-of-a-kind NFT covered by Forbes and Vogue that sold at auction for 5.5 ETH (around $9,000).
MetaBirkins consists of 100 unique, Ethereum-based NFTs depicting Birkin-shaped bags with faux fur in a range of contemporary colors and graphic executions.
According to the website, the NFT collection — which was put up for sale on the LooksRare NFT marketplace —- generated 250+ ETH (more than $420,000) in volume traded, with a floor price of 3.8 ETH (approximately $6,200).
The name of the project and the shape of the bags in the NFT artworks triggered Hermès’ concerns about brand protection and the confusion the digital collectibles could cause in the minds of consumers — which is why the fashion house filed a trademark suit against the artist in January last year.
The case between Hermès and Metabirkins was the first to address intellectual property law and NFTs. This might potentially change the regulation that applies to NFTs in order to protect copyrights in the digital world.