MSCHF Settles Upgraded Shoe Dispute With Nike And Promises (Wink, Wink) To Buy Back Satan Shoes

from the good-luck-getting-those-shoes-back dept

There were actually a whole bunch of interesting legal questions raised by Nike's trademark lawsuit against MSCHF the weird "structured chaos" organization that seems to basically sell publicity stunts as a business model. It had teamed up with the musician Lil Nas X to sell 666 pairs of upgrade Nike Air Max 97, complete with red ink (and, it claimed, a single drop of blood) inserted in the sole of the shoe. The lawsuit raised issues regarding first sale/resale rights, art, freedom of expression, trademark, ownership, property, dilution, confusion and more. And... all of it's going nowhere, because a settlement has been reached.

This isn't that much of a surprise. MSCHF execs have admitted in the past that lawsuits only raise their profile, which may be true, but they're also crazy fucking expensive. MSCHF already got the benefit of the publicity bump from the lawsuit, and now probably sought to get things done and over with as quickly as possible -- and that includes agreeing to issue a "voluntary recall" of the shoes -- 665 pairs of which it had already shipped out. MSCHF also agreed to do the same thing for the much smaller number of Jesus shoes it had sold two years ago in a similar stunt.

Of course, the whole thing seems like a charade. It's a voluntary recall, in which MSCHF is supposed to buy back the shoes at their original retail prices "in order to remove them from circulation." But, uh, anyone who has those shoes in their possession now knows that these shoes are way more valuable because of this dispute. I'd be amazed if anyone actually agreed to sell the shoes back to MSCHF, because these shoes just went from already established rare collector's items, to rare collector's items with an even more insane story including the fact that Nike wants them to disappear.

In some ways, this form of settlement just shows how ridiculous the lawsuit was in the first place. Nike's statement on the settlement is hilarious:

“As part of the settlement, Nike has asked MSCHF, and MSCHF has agreed, to initiate a voluntary recall to buy back any Satan Shoes and Jesus Shoes for their original retail prices, in order to remove them from circulation. If any purchasers were confused, or if they otherwise want to return their shoes, they may do so for a full refund. Purchasers who choose not to return their shoes and later encounter a product issue, defect, or health concern should contact MSCHF, not Nike.”

I mean, c'mon. No one who bought this shoe was "confused." No one's going to want to return it. And, no one's going to contact Nike about any "defect" or "health concern." The whole thing is silly. And yes, that's even though there were some foolish pundits on certain infamous news channels who tried to make a culture war issue falsely claiming Nike was making these shoes. So, sure, Nike can point to the lawsuit as proof they had nothing to do with the shoes, but responding to the brigade of trumped up controversial people is lame. Pretty much everything about this story has been about posturing, rather than anything substantive.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: art, confusion, dilution, first sale, free speech, jesus shoes, lil nas x, satan shoes, tarnishment, trademark
Companies: mschf, nike


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Public Relations Manager Dee Seaver, 9 Apr 2021 @ 12:24pm

    One suspicion you left out is Nike prior collusion, ALL PR stunt

    Nike undoubtedly scored positive points with any even vaguely real Christian / Jew. And the old adage is ANY publicity is GOOD publicity.

    However, even the most cynical can be mildly joyed that there still IS a line not to be crossed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Public Relations Manager Dee Seaver, 9 Apr 2021 @ 12:27pm

      Re: One suspicion you left out is Nike prior collusion, ALL PR s

      I note, Maz, that you do not specify human blood and would like to know how / why you omitted THE key fact. -- 'Cause I am that most cynical person.


      After several clicks including new TOR route, removed the above text, then went in. Now, is that due to an Admin noticing and lowering the mighty "spam filter", or just weird artifact of operation? I doubt the latter, as how could any reasonable system let the same text in? Yesterday you implied that it "thinks", though, so maybe your cheap slow antique AI has to mull it over a bit, eh?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        crade (profile), 9 Apr 2021 @ 2:22pm

        Re: Re: One suspicion you left out is Nike prior collusion, ALL

        "would like to know how / why you omitted THE key fact"

        Because it would be the default assumption in this context? You don't have to specify if it's the default. If it was pig's blood or something he might have mentioned.. If you are doing an article about a kitkat bar, you don't need to specify it's the "regular flavour" kitkat.. people can figure that out because you didn't say "pigs blood flavour"

        Also, we've all skinned our knees before you don't have to act like anyone who's ever bled is a witch or something

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      MightyMetricBatman, 9 Apr 2021 @ 1:31pm

      Re: One suspicion you left out is Nike prior collusion, ALL PR s

      Take your "Judeo-Christian" nonsense elsewhere please.

      At the very least, it demonstrates a monumental ignorance that somehow Judaism cannot exist without Christianity nor has an independent history of customs and ideas.

      None of which care in any way about a Jesus or Satan shoe.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 9 Apr 2021 @ 1:55pm

      Re: One suspicion you left out is Nike prior collusion, ALL PR s

      ‘Saran’, a distinct individual who serves as an advisory to the almighty God, is not present in Jewish myth or religious practice. ‘Satan’ is an invention of christian translators whose depiction was fleshed out by Artists and writers, including Dante and his Inferno.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        crade (profile), 9 Apr 2021 @ 2:58pm

        Re: Re: One suspicion you left out is Nike prior collusion, ALL

        First time in my bottomless naivety I read through the bible, I noticed there was no reference to satan in it anywhere and I went and looked up where it was supposed to be and I was not impressed. Noas ark? check. 7 Days? check. Job and the whale? check. Cutting off hair loses power? check. How can you claim to know the word of the lord when actually the lying scribes have written it falsely? check (best part!)
        King of hell torturing bad people? Let me read again.. What there? common.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2021 @ 12:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: One suspicion you left out is Nike prior collusion,

          Hell and the Devil / Satan / Lucifer were largely a product of Medaeval traveling theatre. Thanks, you weird western Germanic peoples.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Apr 2021 @ 12:51pm

    Good for all

    This outcome seems like one that benefits both sides equally in that Nike has washed their hands of the whole thing by claiming that any shoes still in circulation are entirely MSCHF's problem and MSCHF's 'products' have the added benefit of becoming even more of collector's items now, on top of the added attention the lawsuit and settlement created.

    If MSCHF really is in this for the attention and to cause some ruckus then they got everything they could have dreamed of with this latest stunt.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    crade (profile), 9 Apr 2021 @ 12:55pm

    "voluntary recall to buy back any Satan Shoes and Jesus Shoes for their original retail prices"

    Otherwise known as a refund policy?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Beefcake (profile), 9 Apr 2021 @ 2:20pm

    Everyone wins

    MSCHF keeps the publicity and likely most of the money. NIKE cheaply claws back some credibility with conservative shoppers, and gets to showcase their ability and willingness to defend their trademarks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Apr 2021 @ 11:42pm

      Re: Everyone wins

      Except for that whole pile of law that showed this wasn't a trademark case & Nike would have had their asses handed to them after a long battle.
      Of course if MSCHF could have been sure about being awarded fees, they would have pushed this to the limit.

      conservative shoppers...
      we're okay with this being made by slave labor but you best not mention old scratch or we're gonna have problems.
      Huh... ignoring actual problems to focus on imaginary ones.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 9 Apr 2021 @ 3:18pm

    redundancy

    foolish pundits on certain infamous news channels

    but you repeat yourself…

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.