Nike and the internet collective MSCHF have settled their trademark dispute over a range of unofficially modified Satan-themed Nike sneakers. Neither company disclosed the terms of the deal. But it apparently includes an offer to let customers return their $ 1,018 “Satan Shoes” – or a pair of MSCHF’s earlier “Jesus Shoes” – for a full refund.
In a statement to The edgeMSCHF’s attorneys said they were ‘happy’ with the settlement over the shoes, which were designed in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X. ‘With these Satan Shoes – which sold out in less than a minute – MSCHF wanted to comment on the absurdity of the collaborative culture practiced by some brands, and the perniciousness of bigotry, ”the lawyers said. They said the artistic message was also “powerfully” communicated by Lil Nas X’s song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and “dramatically enhanced” by Nike’s lawsuit.
“Having already achieved its artistic goal, MSF recognized that settlement was the best way to leave this lawsuit behind so that it could devote its time to new artistic and expressive projects.”
Nike confirmed the settlement in a statement The edge“MSCHF has 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 all Satan Shoes and Jesus Shoes at their original retail prices in order to remove them from circulation. If buyers were confused, or if they otherwise wish to return their shoes, they can do so for a full refund. Buyers who choose not to return their shoes and later experience a product, defect, or health problem should contact MSCHF, not Nike. “
It’s unclear how many (if any) buyers will return a limited edition pair of shoes whose value has likely been increased by a major publicity campaign surrounding them.
Nike last week sued MSCHF over the Satan Shoes, saying the sneakers – which MSCHF embellished with ink, custom stitching, a pentagram charm and (allegedly) a drop of blood – had misled buyers and the public into believing that Nike ‘satanism. MSCHF responded by calling the shoes a protected artistic commentary on “extreme collab culture,” and it said all 666 Satan Shoe pairs had already been shipped, with the last being a giveaway for Lil Nas X fans. However, Nike won the first round of a lawsuit, in which a judge issued a temporary restraining order against MSCHF.
The Satan Shoes case could have set a precedent for the way courts treat “upcycled” and heavily modified designer products. But a quiet resolution makes sense to Nike, which was apparently motivated by negative publicity and potential reputational damage. (It didn’t file a similar lawsuit when the Jesus Shoes were released in 2019, although it said last week they also infringed the trademark.)
Meanwhile, MSCHF will apparently continue to own that last pair. “I can say that MSF plans to keep the last of the 666 shoes; Unfortunately, Lil Nas X will not be able to give that shoe away as he intended, ”said MSCHF’s lawyers.