Entertainment lawsuit Nike

Nike Sues Maker of Rapper Lil Nas X Satan Shoes For Trademark Infringement

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The slogan “Just Do It” neatly sums up Nike’s ethos. The same might be said of the three words that greet visitors to the LinkedIn page for a much smaller company called MSCHF: “Nothing is sacred.”

MSCHF has been on full display this week with the online debut of “Satan Shoes” — 666 pairs of customized Nike Air Max 97s the company produced in collaboration with the rapper Lil Nas X.

Nike, which has insisted it had nothing to do with the modified sneakers, filed a lawsuit Monday against MSCHF, alleging that the “unauthorized Satan Shoes are likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike.”

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In its complaint, Nike asked the court to order MSCHF to “permanently stop” fulfilling orders for the “unauthorized” Lil Nas X Satan Shoes. The lawsuit notes that social media users have threatened to boycott Nike over the controversial shoes.

“In the short time since the announcement of the Satan Shoes, Nike has suffered significant harm to its goodwill, including among consumers who believe that Nike is endorsing satanism”, the sportswear company says in its complaint.

Rapper Lil Nas X promoting his new controversial video “Montero”

Nike has issued statements to multiple media outlets clarifying it does “not have a relationship with Lil Nas or MSCHF” and that “Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.” The modified black and red Nike Air Max 97 sneakers, priced at $1,018 (an allusion to the Satan-themed Bible verse Luke 10:18) are adorned with a bronze pentagram charm and a drop of human blood in the midsole.

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They sold out a minute after they went on sale Monday.

In its complaint, Nike said the Satan Shoes prominently feature Nike’s famous Swoosh logo. The controversy began last week with the release of the music video for Lil Nas X’s latest single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” The video portrays the provocatively dressed singer as both a fallen angel and a demon who rides a stripper pole to hell where he gives a lap dance to the devil. Following the video’s release on Friday, Lil Nas teased the release of his new Satan shoes on Twitter.

The day after Lil Nas X released the music video, he responded to the backlash with a post saying, “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the s**t y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay,” he wrote. “So i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.

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