Nike, StockX trade blows in counterfeit lawsuit

Last year, streetwear company Nike filed a lawsuit against StockX, a resale platform, alleging that it had sold counterfeit versions of its shoes, despite claiming to authenticate all the items it receives and sells on, and was also using its trademarks in the form of NFTs without permission.

The acrimonious lawsuit saw a pair of orders last month that went in each parties favour. In the first, Nike was ordered to provide more information to the court bout its processes for identifying fake products, how prevalent they are in the secondary market, and authentication reports from its proprietary app.

The order by Judge Sarah Netburn focuses on “secondary visual inspection”, and compels Nike to produce “documents it uses, creates, or distributes that describe or identify possible ‘tells’ of counterfeit products, even if the purpose of these materials is not to assist in an inspection by the reviewer but to trigger a more fulsome investigation by Nike.”

Then in the second order Judge Valerie Caproni sustained an objection by Nike over conclusions reached by StockX when it investigated the authenticity of the shoes sold to one Roy Kim, who claims to have bought 62 pairs of Air Jordan 1 sneakers from StockX, only to discover later that more than half (38) were counterfeit.

Kim was brought into the lawsuit as a witness, after Nike’s brand protection team investigated the suspect shoes he bought and – according to statements in court documents – confirmed they were fake. Nike has sought to compel StockX to produce documents detailing its own investigation into the shoes and its authentication process.

It’s worth mentioning that both sides have been rebuked by the judge for what she called the “unprofessional” conduct of the two companies’ counsel, particularly “the bickering in the parties’ briefs.”

“The court expects counsel to work together professionally and collegially in the future,” she cautioned.

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