Nike filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in federal court on Monday against the company that released a controversial customized version of the sportswear giant’s sneakers in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X.
The “Old Town Road” artist worked with streetwear company MSCHF to release “Satan Shoes” on Monday. The sneakers are modified Nike Air Max 97s — decorated with a pentagram pendant and a reference to Luke 10:18, a Bible verse about Satan’s fall from heaven.
MSCHF also confirmed to NBC News Sunday that the shoes contained a drop of human blood inside the sole, drawn from members of the MSCHF team.
All 666 pairs of the modified Nikes, priced at $1,018 each, sold out shortly after going on sale Monday.
Nike’s trademark infringement suit against MSCHF — Lil Nas X was not named as a defendant in the complaint — comes after many believed it was involved with the Satan Shoes, despite the company releasing a statement over the weekend saying it had nothing to do the manufacture or sale of the sneakers.
The lawsuit argues that Nike must maintain control over its brand “by setting the record straight” on what products bear its distinctive “SWOOSH” logo.
“In fact, there is already evidence of significant confusion and dilution occurring in the marketplace, including calls to boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF’s Satan Shoes based on the mistaken belief that Nike has authorized or approved this product,” the lawsuit stated.
In a statement released following the the filing of the trademark infringement and dilution complaint, Nike reiterated they are in no way affiliated with the Satan Shoes.
“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 responded to requests for comment on the lawsuit.
Lil Nas X tweeted about the news with a short clip from the cartoon “Spongebob Squarepants,” where one of the characters says, “I was just kidding…you guys know I was just kidding, right?”
The release of the Satan Shoes coincides with Lil Nas X’s latest single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” and its accompanying music video. In the video, Lil Nas X is seduced out of what appears to be the Garden of Eden, falls into hell and gives the devil a lap dance.
The rapper, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, put out a short YouTube video on Sunday titled “Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe.” While holding the sneaker, Lil Nas X begins speaking — and before he gets to the advertised apology — the video cuts to the clip from “Montero” of him giving the devil a lap dance.