French luxury brand Hermès International has announced that it is entering the metaverse in addition to massive NFT and crypto plans. Such plans include virtual marketplaces, virtual clothing and fashion shows, and financial services strategies involving virtual currencies. To accomplish this and legitimatize its plans, Hermès filed a trademark application for its NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and the metaverse—making it the following fashion entity to enter and adopt Web3 technology.
On August 26, 2022, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Hermès filed a trademark that covers “downloadable software to view, store and manage virtual goods, digital collectibles, cryptocurrencies and NFTs’ for use in online worlds.'” The company is also filing trademarks for “retail store services featuring virtual goods,” among more.
USPTO licensed trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis (@KondoudisLaw) noted in a tweet that luxury brand Hermès filed a trademark application with plans to expand into the following areas: NFTs and virtual currency, crypto and NFT trading, virtual goods marketplaces, and virtual clothing, footwear, and fashion shows, “… and more” is noted in the tweet by Kondoudis.
It is also focusing—according to its application—on downloadable computer software for dealing with NFTs; retail featuring virtual goods and NFTs; financial services such as providing virtual currency in connection with virtual goods, digital collectibles, and NFTs, and monetary affairs related to virtual goods, and fundraising and financial sponsorship relating to virtual goods; and authentication, issuance, and validation of digital certificates.
If the trademark filing is approved, Hermès will also enter the virtual gaming industry. Its plans to issue the downloadable computer game software and use e-commerce technology will place Hermès in an entirely new field.
Hermès’ Lawsuit Against Metabirkins Founder Mason Rothschild
The new trademark application comes at a heated time for Hermès. Hermès filed a lawsuit against Metabirkins founder Mason Rothschild back in January for allegedly using Hermès’ Birkin name to profit and make money from the sales and resales for Rothschild’s NFT Metabirkins collection.
In an Instagram post, Metabirkins founder called the allegations “groundless” and claimed he was “not creating or selling fake Birkin bags.” Further, Rothschild noted that Hermès’ actions would not intimate him.
As for Hermès, its 47-page complaint against Rothschild alleged that Rothschild was creating an illusion to the public that its Metabirkins brand was a part of Hermès’ Birkin’s brand. The complaint states: “MetaBirkins brand simply rips off Hermès’ famous Birkin bag trademark by adding the generic prefix ‘meta’ to the famous trademark Birkin.”
It is possible and understandable that Hermès is being proactive by filing these trademarks to ensure that it has the utmost protections as it enters the metaverse and adopts NFTs and crypto-related products.
Next Steps for the Fashion Industry in the Metaverse
A few articles and news outlets recently mentioned that Hermès could be a better investment than gold and stocks. Time Magazine reports the following:
Time Magazine noted that the “annual return on a Birkin was 14.2%, compared to the S&P average of 8.7% a year and gold’s -1.5%.” In September 2020, the Hermès Birkin bag outpaced the S&P 500 and the price of gold—for the first time in 1981.
Other luxury brands have expressed similar interests in entering the crypto markets and metaverse. As some examples, prominent watchmaker Jacob & Co revealed it is issuing a Bitcoin-themed luxury watch at the “Geneva Watch Days,” and Gucci announced that it is now accepting in-store payments of Bored Ape Yacht Club-affiliated cryptocurrencies.
Further, many luxury brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Tommy Hilfiger, and Perry Ellis participated in a virtual fashion event—Decentraland’s Fashion Week.
Hermès is making waves by filing numerous trademark applications to enter the metaverse and explore crypto-related projects and NFTs. Some of its trademarks include applications for retail featuring virtual goods, virtual marketplaces, and fashion shows; financial services such as digital collectibles; and fundraising involving virtual currencies. Even while dealing with a lawsuit against Rothschild for Rothschild’s allegedly copying its brand, Hermès stands to make a significant impact as it becomes the next luxury fashion company to step foot in the crypto/NFT/metaverse industry.