In the on-going legal battle between NIKE, Inc. and StockX, which began in February over trademark-infringement, the former has decided to sue the “marketplace of things” over claims that it’s selling fake sneakers.
According to Bloomberg, representatives from the Oregon-based sportswear behemoth (the largest in the world) purchased four pairs of shoes over the course of two months from StockX that the after-market platform had promised and stated were authentic – all pairs arrived from the Detroit-headquartered company with “Verified Authentic” hangtags.
Authenticity isn’t a new problem for StockX, which was valued at $3.8 billion as of April 2021. As the reseller’s destination continues to diversify its catalog of offerings ahead of going public, netizens have taken to social media and YouTube to share their stories regarding fake shoes obtained through the platform. StockX’s customer service has been notorious for giving sneaker buyers a hard time with shoes deemed inauthentic, with some users exposing the company’s tendency to accept and sell damaged or fake product, but rejecting it on another go-around. This experiment most often occurs with hype releases like Travis Scott x Air Jordan and Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 pairs, shoes that presumably bring in a lot of traffic and money to the platform.
Spokespeople from the company, including former CEO Josh Luber, have previously gone on record as saying that due to the number of inventory processed through StockX’s authentication centers, some product that shouldn’t get through gets through. Systems have been put in place and modified over the past several years, but when a mistake or oversight on behalf of a platform that promotes itself as meticulous and reliable costs someone out of thousands of dollars, the system isn’t working. Could Nike’s lawsuit (case “Nike Inc. v StockX LLC,” 22-cv-983, US District Court, Southern District of New York) be the change countless sneaker consumers have been longing for? Time will tell.
For tangible sneaker news, check out the Air Jordan 1’s upcoming releases.
UPDATE May 11th, 2022:
A spokesperson from StockX contacted Sneaker News with the company’s official statement on the above matter:
We take customer protection extremely seriously, and we’ve invested millions to fight the proliferation of counterfeit products that virtually every global marketplace faces today. Nike’s latest filing is not only baseless but also is curious given that their own brand protection team has communicated confidence in our authentication program, and that hundreds of Nike employees – including current senior executives – use StockX to buy and sell products. This latest tactic amounts to nothing more than a panicked and desperate attempt to resuscitate its losing legal case against our innovative Vault NFT program that revolutionizes the way that consumers can buy, store, and sell collectibles safely, efficiently, and sustainably. Nike’s challenge has no merit and clearly demonstrates their lack of understanding of the modern marketplace.