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MetaBirkins NFT Creator Barred from Museum Display After Hermès Lawsuit

Mason Rothschild, the artist behind the controversial MetaBirkins NFT, has been banned from showcasing the pieces at a museum exhibition for Stockholm-based Spritmuseum after Hermès won a trademark lawsuit against them, court documents from March 13 revealed.

Spritmuseum’s MetaBirkins NFT Display Would Cause “Deep Concerns,” Judge Says

Rothschild (also known as Sonny Estival) was found liable for trademark infringement last month after French fashion house Hermès sued him over the MetaBirkins NFT project. 

Rothschild claimed the project, which depicted the designer company’s iconic Birkin bag on NFTs, was well within his rights to make. 

Last June, Hermès was granted a permanent injunction against the digital artist, effectively banning him from using the company’s trademark within his work.

MetaBirkins: Collection One

Now available on @rarible

— MetaBirkins (@MetaBirkins) January 1, 2022

In January, Rothschild sought to find out if he could still display MetaBirkins at the Swedish Spritmuseum given the scope of the injunction. 

According to ArtNet News, Spirtmuseum had contacted Rothschild in late 2023 to discuss exhibiting the MetaBirkins NFT on a screen inside the museum. Both Spritmuseum curator Mia Sundberg and art critic Blake Gopnik were called to testify.

According to the March 13 court filing, U.S. Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff denied Rothschild’s request, citing “deep concerns” about trademark issues the exhibition might create.

Violation of Trademark Rights or Groundless Claims?

The case has opened up an interesting dialogue regarding legal rights within the Web3 space, with key players in the crypto industry like the Chamber of Digital going so far as to file an amicus curiae brief in support of Hermès prior to the litigation’s verdict in early February.

“The fact that a company offers its goods in a digital space should not result in those products or that company receiving any less trademark protection than physical goods sold in the real world,” the Chamber of Digital Commerce stated, claiming the case could “set a precedent for the entire digital economy.”

A statement in response to: Hermès International, et al. v. Mason Rothschild.

— MetaBirkins (@MetaBirkins) January 17, 2022

Following news of the lawsuit in January 2022, Rothschild took to X to defend the MetaBirkins NFT, calling Hermès’ allegations “groundless.”

“I am not creating or selling fake Birkin bags,” Rothschild said in a statement. “I’ve made artworks that depict imaginary, fur-covered Birkin bags.”

Rothschild Ordered to Pay Substantial Fees in Damages

In addition to trademark infringement, Rothschild was found guilty of trademark dilution and cybersquatting, the practice of registering domain names extremely similar to established entities and trademarks.

Rothschild has been ordered to pay $133,000 in damages as well as $23,000 from cybersquatting.

Cryptonews reached out to the Spritmuseum for comment but didn’t receive a response prior to publication.

The post MetaBirkins NFT Creator Barred from Museum Display After Hermès Lawsuit appeared first on Cryptonews.

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