The Volokh Conspiracy

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Free Speech

NFT Law: "Non-Fungible Token" Makes Its Appearance in a Case


From Saturday's decision in Playboy Enterprises Int'l, Inc. v., written by Judge Victor Marrero (S.D.N.Y.):

Plaintiff Playboy Enterprises International, Inc. … filed a complaint to stop the Defendants from counterfeiting the Playboy Marks in connection with the unauthorized sale of fake Playboy Rabbitars non-fungible tokens ("NFTs") on and (the "Counterfeit Websites"). The domain URLs for the Counterfeit Websites subsume identical versions of the Playboy trademark and are almost identical to Playboy's actual website selling authentic Rabbitar NFT's (the "Authentic Website").

Playboy filed its complaint under: (1) the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 1114, 1125(a), 1116) (Counts I and II); and (2) trademark and unfair competition under New York common law (Count III). Simultaneously, Playboy moved under seal for emergency ex parte relief, which was granted by the Court on November 2, 2021 ("Ex Parte Order"). The Court then held a hearing on November 12, 2021, regarding Playboy's request for a preliminary injunction.

Upon Playboy's Complaint and its accompanying exhibits, the Declarations of Jennifer McCarthy, Sid Nasr, and Marcella Ballard and the exhibits thereto, and all other documents submitted in this action, the Court hereby GRANTS Playboy's request for a preliminary injunction and confirms the seizure order within the Ex Parte Order ….