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A woman walks past a closed store of the sporting goods retailer Nike at a shopping mall in Saint Petersburg, Russia May 25, 2022. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov
(Reuters) – Online retail marketplace StockX fired back Monday against Nike Inc's claims that it sold counterfeit Nike shoes, telling a Manhattan federal court that the sneaker giant had previously praised StockX's efforts to weed out fakes.
Responding to a trademark lawsuit brought by Nike over non-fungible tokens representing its shoes, StockX said that Nike had never complained about its authentication procedures before, and had even invited it to join a federal anti-counterfeiting council.
StockX CEO Scott Cutler said in a statement that Nike's allegations "lack merit, demonstrate a lack of understanding of the modern marketplace, and display anticompetitive behavior that will stifle the secondary market and hurt consumers."
Nike and its attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nike sued StockX, a popular sneaker reseller, in February for trademark infringement based on its NFTs of Nike sneakers. It argued consumers would likely believe the digital assets were associated with Nike, which began offering its own NFTs in April.
Nike amended its lawsuit last month to add allegations that StockX has been selling counterfeit shoes. Nike said this undermined StockX's argument that its NFTs are part of a process to guarantee its shoes' authenticity.
StockX shot back Monday, arguing its verification process is one of the most rigorous in the industry. It said its measures to fight counterfeiting have been praised by observers including Nike itself.
According to StockX's court filing, Nike previously "communicated confidence in the StockX authentication process," including by inviting it to join an anti-counterfeiting group with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. StockX also said Nike executives have praised StockX for being a "good actor" and "aligned" with the shoe giant on ensuring authenticity.
StockX also said that the pair of shoes Nike specifically identified as inauthentic is "commonly sold all over the internet," including on eBay, Amazon and other online marketplaces with weaker protections.
"Nike seems only to care enough about protecting consumers from, and has launched these disingenuous allegations against, the one platform that has now dared to stand up to Nike's meritless NFT infringement claims," StockX's said.
The case is Nike Inc v. StockX LLC, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:22-cv-00983.
For Nike: Tamar Duvdevani of DLA Piper
For StockX: David Bernstein and Megan Bannigan of Debevoise & Plimpton, David Mayberry of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, Jeffrey Morganroth of Morganroth & Morganroth
Read more:
Nike ramps up sneaker NFT lawsuit with StockX counterfeiting claim
StockX strikes back at Nike in NFT lawsuit
Nike cries foul over virtual shoes, suing retailer that sells sneaker NFTs
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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at
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