Nike filed a patent infringement case against the brand that launched a contested personalized version of its shoes in conjunction with rapper Lil Nas X on Monday.
On Monday, the “Old Town Road” artist collaborated with MSCHF to release “Satan Shoes.” The shoes are custom Nike Air Max 97s with a pentagram pendant and a nod to Luke 10:18, a Bible verse about Satan’s demise.
MSCHF, a brand known for notorious and viral brands, announced on Sunday that the sneakers featured a drop of human blood drawn from MSCHF team members within the heel.
The changed Nikes, which cost $1,018, sold out quickly after they went on sale on Monday.
Nike filed the lawsuit — Lil Nas X was not identified as a defendant — because several people assumed it was associated with the sneakers, despite the fact that it claimed it had nothing to do with them in a statement issued over the weekend.
Nike must retain control of the name, according to the litigation, “by setting the record straight” on which items carry the iconic “swoosh” logo.
“There is already proof of substantial misunderstanding and dilution in the marketplace,” according to the complaint, “including calls to boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF’s Satan Shoes based on the false impression that Nike has sanctioned or licensed this model.”
Nike repeated its disassociation from the Satan Shoes in a statement released after the lawsuit was lodged.
“We don’t have any further details to share on pending legal matters,” Nike said. “However, we can tell you we do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF.”
MSCHF did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Lil Nas X tweeted about the news with a short clip from the cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants,” in which a character says: “I was just kidding. … You guys know I was just kidding, right?”
— nope 🏹 (@LilNasX) March 29, 2021
The Satan Shoes’ arrival coincides with the release of Lil Nas X’s new single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” and its accompanying music video. Lil Nas X is seduced out of what seems to be the Garden of Eden, falls into hell, and performs a lap dance for the devil in the film.
“Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe,” a brief YouTube video by the rapper, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, was released on Sunday. Lil Nas X starts chatting while holding the sneaker, but before he gets to the advertised apology, the video cuts to a scene from “Montero” of him doing a lap dance with the demon.