French fashion house Hermes International has persuaded a judge not to dismiss its trademark lawsuit against an artist selling “MetaBirkins” non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that show the company’s Birkin bags, Reuters reported on Friday 6 may.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff denied a request by artist Mason Rothschild to dismiss the lawsuit. Hermès sued Rothschild in January over the NFT MetaBirkins, which show the bags covered in “colored fur”.
The lawsuit, according to Reuters, said Rothschild began offering the NFTs at the Art Basel art fair last December in Miami, without permission from Hermès. It would have earned Rothschild more than $1 million by early January.
Hermès called Rothschild a “digital speculator” and called MetaBirkins a “get-rich-quick” scheme, saying he can’t just use a brand because he calls himself an artist.
According to Rothschild, the works commented on the “inherent cruelty in the manufacture by Hermès of its ultra-expensive leather handbags”. He said they were protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and added that his art did not lose First Amendment protection simply because he sold it.
The lawsuit would be watched as it could clarify how trademark law works when NFTs are in the picture.
PYMNTS wrote that publicly available reports that NFTs are disappearing might not be accurate, as they are doing quite well by other measures.
Read more: Hype May Diminish, But NFT Uses and Buyers Are Growing
While a previous report predicted “the beginning of the end” for NFTs, a report from Chainalysis indicated that while trading volume fluctuated, the number of buyers and sellers had always increased.
The report also indicates that there were more weekly active collections, referring to a trade with any trade at that time, on the NFT OpenSea market.
This is important because of the potential uses of NFTs, which can be a medium for “everything from songs to actions”. For example, Goldman Sachs has been looking for ways to use NFTs to hold and trade financial instruments.