Retail

With ‘Cryptokicks’ Application, Nike Signals It May Be Launching Its Own Currency

Nike

Footwear giant Nike has submitted an application to trademark the term “cryptokicks,” according to reports.

The application was filed on April 19, and in it the company also describes a potential digital currency, and how it would be used online. It also talks about an online marketplace for shoes and clothes, and “a website featuring technology that enables users to mine, earn, purchase, receive by any other means, store, and transfer blockchain-based tokens, coins, cryptocurrencies, and other crypto assets.”

The company is purposefully trying to expand its reach into the digital world, and recently said its digital business had upwards of $1 billion in quarterly sales — a company milestone. That number is 36 percent higher than last year.

Nike also submitted an application to trademark the word “footware,” a combination of footwear and software.

Trademark lawyer Josh Gerben told Biz Journal that the company is probably seriously considering the new venture.

“There has to be somewhat of a business idea behind it,” he said. “If you submit things just for the purpose of submitting things, it will tie up the trademark system unnecessarily. Nike does not have a history of filings that are speculative.”

Any competitors in the market who want to challenge the application have 30 days to do so. If the application goes through, after review by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Nike will have rights to the name for four years. In order to fully get the trademark, it will have to introduce a product under the name.

Nike was also recently sanctioned in connection with cross-border sales, and fined $14.14 million — or 12.5 million euros. The European Commission claimed the sales involved licensed merchandise from Manchester United, FC Barcelona and AS Roma, among other names, and took place from 2004 to 2017, CNBC reported.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement, according to the outlet, “Nike prevented many of its licensees from selling these branded products in a different country, leading to less choice and higher prices for consumers.”

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