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Nike Gets Restraining Order on Lil Nas X ‘Satan Shoes’

April 1, 2021, 11:20 PM

Nike Inc. won a temporary restraining order in the Eastern District of New York barring a Brooklyn design studio from selling Nike Air Max 97 shoes altered to feature a satanic theme designed in collaboration with rap artist Lil Nas X.

The court, however, declined Nike’s request for an order requiring MSCHF Product Studio to recall the 666 shoes that were produced.

A TRO is appropriate because Nike has shown a likelihood of success on at least some of its claims, Judge Eric R. Komitee said.

Nike has carried its burden of showing that MSCHF’s actions “are likely to confuse, and likely are confusing, consumers about the origin, sponsorship, or approval of MSCHF’s goods,” the court said. Nike has also demonstrated that MSCHF’s actions are likely to dilute and tarnish Nike’s marks, the court said.

The left shoe of the pair displays the letters “MSCHF” and the right shoe displays the letters “LIL NAS X.” The midsole of the shoes also contain red ink and a drop of human blood. The shoes also bear a red embroidered satanic-themed detail and a bronze pentagram.

The release of the shoes coincided with Lil Nas X’s “Call Me By Your Name” video.

The order temporarily bars MSCHF from fulfilling any orders for the Satan Shoes and from using the trademarked version of the word Nike, or the Swoosh mark, or any mark that is “confusingly similar.”

The TRO also precludes MSCHF from referring to or using any prohibited marks in advertising, marketing, or promotion and from instructing, assisting, aiding, or abetting any other party in engaging in any of the prohibited activities.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP represents Nike. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP represents MSCHF.

The case is Nike Inc. v. MSCHF Prod. Studio Inc., E.D.N.Y., No. 21-cv-01679, 4/1/21.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Hayes in Washington at PHayes@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Peggy Aulino at maulino@bloomberglaw.com

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