Nike and the internet collective MSCHF have settled their trademark dispute over a range of unofficially modified Nike-themed Nike sneakers. None of the companies disclosed the terms of the agreement. But that apparently includes an offer to let customers return their $ 1,018 “Satan Shoes” – or a pair of MSCHF’s former “Jesus Shoes” – for a full refund.
In a statement to The edge, MSCHF’s lawyers said they were “satisfied” with the settlement of the shoes, which was designed in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X. “With these Satan shoes ̵
“Having already achieved its artistic purpose, MSCHF recognized that conciliation was the best way to enable it to put this lawsuit behind it so that it could devote its time to new artistic and expressive projects.
Nike confirmed the settlement in a statement to The edge. “MSCHF changed these shoes without Nike’s permission,” the company said. “As part of the settlement, Nike has asked MSCHF, and MSCHF has agreed to initiate a voluntary recall to buy back Satan Shoes and Jesus Shoes at their original retail prices to remove them from circulation. If any buyers were confused or if they would otherwise return their shoes, they can do so for a full refund. Buyers who choose not to return their shoes and later encounter a product problem, defect or health concern should contact MSCHF and not Nike. ”
It’s unclear how many – if any – buyers will return a pair of limited edition shoes whose value is likely to be increased by a major advertising campaign around them.
Nike sued MSCHF over Satan Shoes last week, saying sneakers – like MSCHF adorned with ink, bespoke nails, a pentagram charm and (allegedly) a drop of blood – had tricked buyers and the public into believing that Nike “supported Satanism” . MSCHF countered by calling the shoes a protected artistic commentary on “extreme collab culture,” saying it except for one of the 666 Satan Shoe pairs already sent, and the final expectation of a gift for Lil Nas X fans . However, Nike won the first round of a court battle with a judge announcing a temporary detention order against MSCHF.
The Satan Shoes case could have set a precedent for how courts treat “upcycled” and heavily modified designer products. But a quiet resolution makes sense for Nike, which was apparently motivated by negative publicity and potential damage to its reputation. (It did not file a similar lawsuit when Jesus Shoes was released in 2019, though it said last week that they also infringed its trademark.)
In the meantime, MSCHF will apparently retain ownership of the latter pair. “I can say that MSCHF intends to keep the last of the 666 shoes; unfortunately, it will not be able to get Lil Nas X to give away the shoe that he planned to do, ”said MSCHF’s lawyers.