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Hermès and the MetaBirkins Creator Are Set to Go to Trial

A judge has denied both parties’ motions for summary judgment.
A collage shows six MetaBirkins in different colors, including one in bright yellow and another emblazoned with a reproduction of the Mona Lisa.
The MetaBirkins, which aren't by Hermès or even really bags. (Mason Rothschild)

In a one-page ruling on Dec. 30, US district judge Jed Rakoff shot down each side’s hopes of obtaining an immediate conclusion to the saga, with a trial set to commence on Jan. 30.

The French luxury house first sued Mason Rothschild over his NFTs depicting fuzzy and colourful digital renditions of its famed Birkin bag nearly a year ago. Since, the two sides have been battling in court in a high-stakes case whose outcome could shape how the law treats similar NFTs. Hermès claims the digital goods infringe its trademarks and dilute the Birkin name. Rothschild has countered that his NFTs are a form of art protected as free speech by the US Constitution.

Both sides moved for summary judgments, in which the court concludes there are no questions about the facts or law and decides the case based on the arguments made in the court papers submitted. In his ruling, however, Rakoff rejected the motions, saying the court would issue an opinion explaining the decision by Jan. 20.

Learn more:

Why Hermès’ MetaBirkins Lawsuit Has High Stakes for Brands and Creators

The trademark battle over NFTs is set to establish important precedents in how the law treats digital assets, leaving IP attorneys eagerly watching.

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