Nike Doesn’t Know What an NFT Is

I just read Nike Inc. v. StockX LLC, a 50-page complaint filed by Nike demanding that StockX (a used shoe seller) destroy all the Nike-branded NFTs it minted. Someone should tell Nike’s lawyers that an NFT is not an image, video, or audio file, but simply an immutable digital receipt of a transaction that references the location of the associated asset(s). Destroying the receipt has no impact on the intellectual property in question any more than throwing out a receipt from the grocery store has an impact on the items you purchased.

When you purchase an NFT, the record of the transaction is immutably recorded on a blockchain. Generally, the record will contain the public addresses of the digital/crypto wallets involved as well as a reference to the digital asset (but not the digital asset itself). The image, video, or audio file will be stored elsewhere. Destroying the NFT is not possible. You can “burn” the NFT, which would prevent the record of ownership from being transferred to another wallet, but that’s about it. As for the images of sneakers with the unauthorized Nike swoosh? Good luck.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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