On June 6, 2022, Justin Pierce, Calvin Nelson, and William Lawrence were quoted in Law360 on sneaker resale marketplace StockX’s decision to staunchly defended its authentication program after Nike accused the online platform of selling counterfeit sneakers.
According to the article, Nike asked for leave in May to include additional claims in its lawsuit accusing StockX of selling non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, that display the retail giant's sneaker designs without permission. Notably, Nike took aim at StockX's authentication process, alleging it has been able to purchase counterfeit Nike shoes "despite StockX's numerous guarantees of authenticity."
In a June 6 filing, StockX disputed Nike's characterization of its authentication program, saying it has invested millions of dollars in fighting counterfeits and has hired over 300 authenticators. StockX added it was notable that Nike failed to explain how it was preventing counterfeits from being sold on other platforms like eBay and Amazon, suggesting it was being targeted as the "one platform that has now dared to stand up to Nike's meritless NFT infringement claims."
The present case has taken an interesting turn with the companies' apparent focus on StockX's authentication process, according to Pierce, Nelson, and Lawrence. Rather than fighting Nike's motion — which might have been an "uphill battle" — StockX has opted to address the counterfeiting claims "head on," the group noted.
"As StockX itself acknowledges, its 'authentication and anti-counterfeiting efforts are critical to its business and consumer trust,' so, for better or for worse, the most critical part of StockX business model will now be front and center in this case," Pierce wrote for the group.
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