Hermès Asks Court for Control Over MetaBirkin NFTs

The French luxury house has filed an order asking for control of the MetaBirkins smart contract, social media handles and royalties.

AccessTimeIconMar 6, 2023 at 10:51 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 7, 2023 at 6:57 p.m. UTC

French luxury house Hermès International has asked a New York court to block non-fungible token (NFT) artist Mason Rothschild from selling or promoting his MetaBirkin NFTs following a landmark jury verdict last month.

Hèrmes filed suit against Rothschild in January 2022 alleging that the Los Angeles-based creator stole its intellectual property to create his 100-edition non-fungible token (NFT) collection based on the house's iconic Birkin bag. After a lengthy legal battle, a nine-person jury ruled in favor of Hermès last month, awarding the brand $133,000 in damages.

On Friday, Hèrmes asked Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York (SDNY) to permanently block Rothschild from selling, promoting or distributing NFTs that use the brand's Birkin trademark.

The fashion house also asked that Rothschild transfer control of any Metabirkin NFTs in his possession to a crypto wallet designated by Hèrmes, and that he transfer control of the MetaBirkins smart contract, MetaBirkins domain names and MetaBirkins social media handles to Hèrmes.

The brand further asked that Rothschild transfer royalties received from the MetaBirkins project to them. Hèrmes claims that Rothschild is still receiving a 7.5% creator royalty on NFT marketplace LooksRare. According to data on Etherscan, the last sale of a MetaBirkin NFT took place in November 2022 for 1.2 wrapped ether (about $1,555), while the last transfer of a MetaBirkin NFT between wallets took place in December 2022.

Rothschild's attorney, Rhett Millsaps, called the filing "a gross overreach by Hèrmes and an attempt to punish Mr. Rothschild because they don’t like his art." He told CoinDesk that he and his team will be filing a response on Friday.

"This case is far from over," he added.


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Rosie Perper

Rosie Perper was the Deputy Managing Editor for Web3 and Learn, focusing on the metaverse, NFTs, DAOs and emerging technology like VR/AR. She has previously worked across breaking news, global finance, tech, culture and business. She holds a small amount of BTC and ETH and several NFTs. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter, The Airdrop.