Hermes has written a cease-and-desist letter to Mason Rothschild, creator of the MetaBirkin. The virtual and digital Birkin are a tribute to Hermes’ iconic bag. Rothschild designed over 100 Birkin-inspired NFTs, simulated with faux fur in a variety of colours and graphics. The bags were not made by Hermes and are not real.
Virtual bags can be traded for more than 1 million dollars
The bags were listed on OpenSea as a peer-to–peer marketplace for NFTs. They had a trading value in excess of 1.1 million dollars. However, they were removed by Hermes this month. Hermes claimed that the bags infringed its trademarks.
Rothschild published an open letter on his Instagram account, in which he stated that the MetaBirkins’ NFTs were protected from luxury brand’s trademark claims. Rothschild stated that the First Amendment gave him every right to create art from my interpretations of what is around him. Rothschild also believes that his designs are a “commentary on fashion’s history and cruelty to animals and its embrace of other fur-free and textile initiatives.”
Do fashion brands have the right to physical designs that have been translated into the virtual universe?
P-Education, an online source of learning, states that Hermes still retains strong rights over the Birkin bag’s composition and name for use on leather goods. However, it is possible to argue that these rights don’t necessarily apply to virtual handbags or the symbol associated to an image handbag (i.e., NFT). If Hermes is able to prove that its rights extend to the metaverse, perhaps by using rights to the Birkin bag’s name and composition in the digital/ecommerce space, and/or as part the scaling area argument, then it will be able to establish a case for infringement. It must also show consumers that they are likely to confuse the origin of the MetaBirkins, their association, association or association with NFTs.
Interview with Yahoo Finance Rothschild: “There is no bag more famous than the Hermes Birkin.” “I wanted to experiment if I could create the same illusion in digital life that it does as a digital commodity. With the stats that we have, I feel that I’ve accomplished that. It is the ability to create a digital commodity that everyone loves and sell it at that price, while keeping the scarcity of 100 bags and watching what the community does.”