Nike wins halt to sales of Lil Nas X 'Satan Shoes'
From Jonathan stamp
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge and Nike Inc. on Thursday ordered a Brooklyn company to temporarily suspend sales of "Satan Shoes," made in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X.
US District Judge Eric Committee in Brooklyn ruled three days after Nike sued MSCHF Product Studio Inc, alleging the black and red devil-themed sneakers bearing the Nike "Swoosh" logo infringed its trademarks.
The sneakers are bespoke versions of the Nike Air Max 97 sneakers that are said to have a drop of human blood in the midsoles. They are imprinted with "Luke 10:18", a scripture that refers to Satan's fall from heaven.
Only 666 pairs were made, costing $ 1,018 each. Lil Nas X, best known for the song "Old Town Road," planned to pick who would get the 666th pair, but that plan was put on hold after Nike filed a lawsuit on Monday. He is not a defendant in the case.
"MSCHF is a firm believer in freedom of expression," the company said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Nike and the court to resolve this case as soon as possible."
Nike and its lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
MSCHF lawyers had argued that Satan Shoes were "not typical sneakers, but individually numbered works of art," followed by the company's "Jesus Shoes", which in 2019 were based on the same Nike model.
They said a temporary restraining order was unnecessary because shoe buyers would not believe Nike was involved and all but the 666th pair had already been sold and no more were being made.
In contrast, Nike lawyers said that "even" sneakerheads "were actually confused by MSCHF's shoes," and MSCHF had a "story" of injuring shoes being shipped faster than courts could prevent.
Lil Nas X released a diabolical video for his song "Montero (call me by your name)" last month.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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