On March 29, 2021, the famous rapper, Montero Lamar Hill, more commonly known as Lil Nas X, released a highly anticipated limited-edition sneaker collaboration with the Brooklyn-based company, MSCHF Product Studio Inc. (“MSCHF”). Coming in at $1,018 a pair, the “Satan Shoe,” as it was called, was a modified red and black Nike Air Max 97 sneaker “featur[ing] a pentagram pendant, a drop of human blood in the sole of the shoe and ‘Luke 10:18’ written on the midsole.” While it was clear that the sneaker had been altered, the well-recognized Swoosh symbol associated with Nike, Inc. (“Nike”) was prominently displayed and Nike quickly asserted that the sneakers were produced “without Nike’s approval or authorization, and Nike [was] in no way connected.” In just under one minute, the limited-edition sneakers were sold out and, on that same day, Nike swiftly filed a complaint against MSCHF in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, and dilution.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on November 1, 2021. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Hertz, Pearl, "Don’t “Just Do It”: Upscaling and Trademark Infringement" (2021). AELJ Blog. 299.