This week in entertainment news, Nike is in the midst of suing Lil Nas X’s art collective behind the ‘Satan Shoes’, which sparked a fair amount of backlash this past week on social media.
The lawsuit was filed this past Monday, in which Nike accused MSCHF Product Studio Inc. of trademark infringement. MSCHF modified 666 of the shoe designer’s sneakers in collaboration with Lil Nas X satan shoes. Every pair of shoes has sold out.
As of now, MSCHF has yet to respond to questions regarding the suit.
Nike, in its complaint, asked MSCHF to stop carrying out orders for the ‘Satan Shoes’, as they were unauthorized by the shoe designer. Many social media users have threatened Nike with boycotts over these wildly controversial shoes.
Nike Worries About Consumer Backlash
In a complaint, Nike said, “MSCHF and its unauthorized Satan Shoes are likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike. In the short time since the announcement of the Satan Shoes, Nike has suffered significant harm to its goodwill, including among consumers who believe that Nike is endorsing satanism.”
Nike recently issued a number of statements with major media outlets to clarify that it does not have ties with MSCHF or Lil Nas.
The sneakers are a pair of modified Nike Air Max 97s with a drop of blood in the mid-sole and a bronze pentagram atop the laces. In 2019, MSCHF released a pair of ‘Jesus Shoes’ as well.
Nike’s focus in its complaint was directed towards the prominence of the company’s Swoosh logo featured on the shoes.
Controversial Lil Nas Music Video
The controversy started this past week after Lil Nas X released a music video for his new single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” In the video, Lil Nas X is dressed up as a demon and a fallen angel, riding a stripper pole into hell, and giving a lap dance to the devil himself.
Lil Nas X sent out a teaser this past Friday after the release of the video regarding the new Satan Shoes.
Shortly after the release of his new video, he responded to the backlash on social media with a post stating, I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the s**t y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay, so I hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”
What Trademark Attorneys Have To Say
According to a number of trademark attorneys, Nike has a fairly strong case for a lawsuit against the singer. This whole event may make for a potential legal landmark battle.
Alexandra J. Roberts, a professor at the University of New Hampshire’s Franklin Peirce School of Law who teaches trademark and entertainment law, says, “Yes, Nike has a colorable case for trademark infringement and dilution by tarnishment. Consumers may be misled to believe that the Satan Shoes are authorized or endorsed by Nike. Nike might also argue that the use harms its reputation by associating its brand with Satanic symbols.”