MetaBirkins NFT maker banned from selling Birkin-based collectibles by federal judge.

A federal judge has permanently prohibited a non-fungible token (NFT) maker from selling digital art collectibles modeled after Hermes’ iconic Birkin bags, concluding a lengthy court case that serves as a warning to NFT creators.

Judge Jed Rakoff, who presided over the case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ordered Rothschild and his associates to refrain from creating or selling MetaBirkins NFTs or using online domains associated with the collection. He also reiterated a jury’s conclusion that Mason Rothschild, the collection’s creator, attempted to deceive consumers about the connection between his digital art pieces and Hermes’ luxury bags.

“As the jury explicitly stated, Rothschild, a self-proclaimed ‘marketing strategist,’ deliberately attempted (with some success) to deceive consumers into believing that his non-fungible tokens (‘NFTs’), labeled ‘MetaBirkins…’ were associated with Hermès’ iconic ‘Birkin’ trademarks,” Judge Rakoff wrote in a filing on Friday.

He added, “In essence, the jury found that Rothschild was simply a swindler.”

The judge’s permanent injunction serves as the final ruling in the months-long lawsuit. However, Rothschild can still appeal the decision.

Rothschild’s lawyer declined blockchain’s request for comment.

The MetaBirkins NFT collection, a series of 100 digital art collectibles, gained significant attention when it was launched in December 2021, producing more than $1 million in sales, according to Reuters.

However, French fashion house Hermès International sued the MetaBirkins NFT creator in January 2022, alleging that the California-based artist’s Birkin-inspired collection infringed on its intellectual property rights. In February, a jury ruled in favor of the handbag maker, awarding the company $133,000 in damages.

Rothschild’s loss to Hermes serves as a warning to other creators in the underregulated NFT space, where intellectual property infringement is not uncommon. In recent months, NFT analytics firm bitsCrunch warned about the use of McDonald’s iconic golden arches logo in a popular NFT collection called Coodles. And, last year, Nike sued sneaker reseller StockX for selling Unauthorized images of its sneakers as NFTs.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.

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