The luxury fashion industry has experienced a rapid shift in recent years, especially with the rise of digital assets and the metaverse. As brands begin to stake their claim in this virtual landscape, legal battles are also emerging. One of the most significant and attention-grabbing disputes in recent times is the Hermès vs MetaBirkins lawsuit. This article will cover everything you need to know about this groundbreaking case, from the background to the legal arguments and potential implications.


Hermès is a French luxury goods manufacturer established in 1837, known for its iconic handbags, especially the Birkin and the Kelly. The Birkin, named after the actress Jane Birkin, is considered the epitome of luxury and exclusivity, with prices ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As the metaverse expands, digital luxury items have become increasingly popular. MetaBirkins, a company not affiliated with Hermès, started creating and selling virtual Birkin bags within the metaverse. These digital items, designed to resemble the iconic Hermès Birkin bags, were sold for thousands of dollars each, with some even being resold for higher values.

The Lawsuit: An In-Depth Look

The Hermès vs MetaBirkins lawsuit has garnered significant attention from both the luxury goods industry and the metaverse community. As the case unfolds, it is important to understand the specific legal arguments in greater detail.

  1. Trademark Infringement

Hermès claims that MetaBirkins’ virtual bags infringe on its registered trademarks, which protect the design, shape, and style of the iconic Birkin bags. According to Hermès, the digital reproductions are so similar to the original bags that they could lead to consumer confusion. The luxury brand argues that potential buyers may mistakenly believe that MetaBirkins’ products are affiliated with or endorsed by Hermès, resulting in a violation of their trademark rights.

In trademark law, infringement occurs when a party uses a mark that is similar or identical to another’s registered trademark in a way that could confuse consumers regarding the source of the goods or services. The key factor in determining infringement is the likelihood of confusion. Hermès will need to prove that MetaBirkins’ use of the Birkin-like design on its digital bags is likely to cause confusion among consumers.

  1. Trademark Dilution

Apart from infringement, Hermès also alleges that MetaBirkins’ actions dilute the distinctiveness and value of the Birkin brand. Trademark dilution occurs when the use of a mark by an unauthorized party weakens the association between the mark and the original brand, thus reducing its unique identity and value.

Hermès asserts that by creating and selling virtual Birkin bags without authorization, MetaBirkins is tarnishing the reputation and exclusivity of the genuine Hermès products. The company will need to demonstrate that MetaBirkins’ actions have caused or are likely to cause harm to the Birkin brand’s image and reputation.

  1. Unfair Competition

Finally, Hermès claims that MetaBirkins is engaging in unfair competition by taking advantage of the Birkin brand’s popularity and goodwill. Unfair competition laws protect businesses from deceptive or wrongful practices that could cause consumer confusion or harm a brand’s reputation.

Hermès alleges that MetaBirkins is profiting from the confusion of consumers who may believe they are purchasing legitimate Hermès products. To succeed in this claim, Hermès must prove that MetaBirkins has engaged in false or misleading practices that have caused, or are likely to cause, consumer confusion or harm to the Hermès brand.

In response to these allegations, MetaBirkins asserts that its virtual bags are not infringing on Hermès’ trademarks because they are not tangible goods but digital assets. The company maintains that the virtual bags are a form of artistic expression and that their creation and sale are protected by the First Amendment.

MetaBirkins’ Defense

MetaBirkins, on the other hand, argues that its virtual bags are not infringing on Hermès’ trademarks because they are not tangible goods but digital assets. The company maintains that the virtual bags are a form of artistic expression and that their creation and sale are protected by the First Amendment.

Potential Implications

The outcome of the Hermès vs MetaBirkins lawsuit could have far-reaching implications for the metaverse and the luxury goods industry as a whole. If the court sides with Hermès, it may set a precedent for other luxury brands to pursue legal action against unauthorized digital reproductions of their products. This could lead to increased regulation of digital assets in the metaverse and a heightened focus on intellectual property rights within the virtual space.

On the other hand, if MetaBirkins prevails, it could open the door for more digital reproductions of luxury goods and potentially weaken the value of physical luxury items. The metaverse could become a battleground for luxury brands to protect their intellectual property, forcing them to adapt their strategies for the digital age.

The lawsuit over MetaBirkins NFTs has been won by Hermès in a trademark ruling

Following several days of deliberation, a nine-person jury reached a verdict in the copyright infringement case between luxury brand Hermès and NFT artist Mason Rothschild on Wednesday. The case centered around Rothschild’s MetaBirkins NFT collection, with the jury ultimately ruling in favor of Hermès and awarding the brand $133,000 in damages. The jury found that Rothschild had profited from Hermès’ reputation by creating NFTs based on the brand’s Birkin bags.

Additionally, the jury determined that Rothschild’s NFTs were not protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution, as argued by his legal team during the trial. This case sets an important precedent for NFT creators and provides a framework for IP law in relation to digital creations. Going forward, creators like Rothschild will need to exercise greater caution when producing NFTs that may infringe on other brands’ intellectual property to avoid potential trademark lawsuits.

The Hermès vs MetaBirkins lawsuit highlights the growing tension between the luxury goods industry and the metaverse. As digital assets become more prevalent, the legal landscape surrounding them is likely to become more complex.