Yesterday, Nike filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against streetwear company MSCHF over their production of rapper Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoes” out of modified Nike Air Max 97s.
In the lawsuit, Nike argued that MSCHF’s design creates a “likelihood of injury to Nike’s business reputation and goodwill” as the shoes created a “likelihood of consumer confusion, mistake, and deception as to the source of origin or relationship of Nike's products and MSCHF's Satan Shoes, and has otherwise competed unfairly by unlawfully trading on and using” Nike’s trademarks without permission.
“In fact, there is already evidence of significant confusion and dilution occurring in the marketplace, including calls to boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF’s Satan Shoes based on the mistaken belief that Nike has authorized or approved this product,” the lawsuit stated.
Former NBA player Nick Young tweeted that he was considering not wearing Nike anymore because of the Satan Shoes.
Nike has stated that it does “not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF,” and that the shoes were “produced without Nike’s approval or authorization, and Nike is in no way connected with this project.”
Nike has requested that MSCHF pay for the lawsuit and lawyer fees on top of damages, claiming that Nike has suffered harm to its reputation that "money cannot compensate." Nike has also requested the court to order MSCHF “to deliver all products that bear resemblance to Nike products for destruction.”
Lil Nas X's new limited-edition demonic shoes were released on Monday, priced at $1,018. All 666 pairs reportedly sold out in less than one minute. Each shoe has the signature Nike air bubble cushioning sole, containing about 2 ounces of red ink and a single drop of human blood, donated by members of the MSCHF art collective, according to the BBC.
Lil Nas X joked about Nike’s suit on Twitter, saying it could leave him broke:
Others didn’t see the Satan Shoes as something to take lightly. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem raised concerns over children being corrupted by the glorification of things like the Satan Shoes.