A year ago, someone in the U.K. set up a quickie online storefront called Crypto Kicks and started selling Bitcoin-logoed T-shirts and sweatshirts. Thanks to Nike, the site’s very name could possibly make the owner a little bit richer. Or, at least, just richer than selling T-shirts that read “₿itch” ever could.
On Friday, April 19, Nike filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the word “cryptokicks”, stating that it intends to create a Cryptokicks cryptocurrency soon.
Specifically, the filing says the sneaker firm intends to offer “financial services, namely providing a digital currency or digital token for use by members of an on-line community via a global computer network.”
The filing goes on to mention everything from a crypto exchange of its own and digital wallets to apps and an online forum. And, of course, “an online marketplace featuring footwear and clothing.” Kicks is an increasingly common slang term for shoes.
While it’s far from certain that Nike will actually launch a Cryptokicks currency, the filing is more than just a casual name capture.
In a video posted on Twitter yesterday, trademark attorney Josh Gerben analyzes the filing, noting that, “the application was filed based on a 1B basis, which means the application was filed on an ‘intent to use’ the trademark. When you file a trademark application, you have to indicate whether or not you are actually using it now, or you just intend to use it in the future. Nike here indicated they intend to use the trademark and when they submitted the application, they did submit a sworn statement saying they had a bona fide intent to use this trademark in the near future. So be on the lookout for your Cryptokicks cryptocurrency very soon.”
Soon is a relative term, of course. According to the USTPO’s website, the bare minimum to approve a trademark is seven to eight months, followed by anywhere from three months to three years before it is registered. Then, the filing company has five to six years to actually start using it.
Alas for cryptokicks.co.uk, Gerben also tweeted out that the U.K. site’s trademark only applies to the UK, and “without a U.S. presence there is no legal rights in the US.”
Still, Nike’s earnings for the year ending on May 31, 2018 were $9.2 billion in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. So, there’s hope for them yet.
[Note: Direct links to Nike’s application time out, so go to the USTPO website here, click on “Search our trademark database (TESS),” then on “Basic work mark search,” and enter “cryptokicks” to see it.]