Nike, the United States footwear and clothing behemoth, has recently joined the ranks of mainstream corporations that are considering entering the field of cryptocurrencies, currently spearheaded by the likes of Facebook, Samsung and Starbucks.
A document filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) surfaced online last week, revealing Nike’s intention to launch “cryptokicks” — which appears to be more than just a new line of sneakers.
The news about Nike’s “cryptokicks” trademark was originally broken by Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney in the U.S. who first described the application via Twitter on April 24.
Notably, the corporation’s filing mentions crypto wallets (both software and hardware), “downloadable mobile applications for providing access to crypto collectibles, crypto art and application tokens,” as well as an online marketplace featuring footwear and clothing as potential use cases.
Furthermore, the document also describes plans for “providing a digital currency or digital token for use by members of an online community,” and enabling transactions to be completed using “unconventional currency systems,” which implies that Nike might integrate cryptocurrencies into its burgeoning online marketing — last month, the company reported its digital business brought in more than $1 billion in quarterly sales for the first time, securing a whopping 36% rise from the same period a year ago.
In the application, Nike also explains how it wants to reserve the “cryptokicks” name for providing “online blogs in the field of crypto collectibles” and offering online computer games, such as scavenger hunts, treasure hunts and obstacle courses. “However, there needs to be some sort of internal work happening at Nike for Nike to file its application.” According to Hinkes, it is impossible to evaluate the progress at this point just by looking at the application:
“The filer of a federal trademark must have a bona fide intent to use the mark in connection with the goods and services that are listed with the application.
During his analysis of the document, Gerben also explained that the application was made on a “1B” basis, which means Nike has submitted a sworn statement indicating they intend to use the trademark in the near future.
However, Hinkes warns that Nike is unlikely to present any “cryptokicks” product in forthcoming months, as the overall process of securing a trademark is quite time-consuming:
“First, an applicant files their application for federal trademark protection. After filing, the application will be examined by an examiner at the USPTO. If the examiner approves the application and finds no existing marks that are likely to cause confusion, and the application has no technical issues, then it will be published for opposition, which is a several-month process. This publication with an opportunity for objection will probably not occur for several months, if not a year.”
During that 30-day objection period, those who have preexisting rights to the brand “cryptokicks” could prove that the acceptance of Nike’s application for “cryptokicks” as a protected mark would cause consumer confusion and thus damage to their preexisting mark, Hinkes told Cointelegraph. It would be crazy / cool to get some branded crypto with every purchase, be able to buy and sell it on exchanges, and be able to redeem (burn) it online for rare Nike merchandise.”
Cointelegraph has reached out to Nike for further comment, but the company has not returned the request as of press time.