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Briefing: November 11, 2022

StockX garnered attention on social media this week after making some changes to the marketing of its authentication efforts. In a statement on Thurs., the Detroit-based resale platform revealed that it has “updated the name of [its] verification process” – moving away from labeling the goods on its platform as “Verified Authentic” and “100% Authentic” to a new “StockX Verified” label. The company says that “StockX Verified is our own designation and not endorsed by any brands sold on StockX.” (It also assured consumers that nothing in the actual authentication/verification process has changed.)

The name-change is interesting for at least a couple of reasons …

  • First, it comes as StockX is embroiled in an NFT-centric lawsuit with Nike, with the Swoosh accusing it of TM infringement and counterfeiting, as well as false advertising, among other things, and asserting in an amended complaint in May that by peddling products as “100% Verified Authentic,” StockX is looking to trade on the reputation and appeal of the Nike brand. That labeling is also an issue, per Nike, as “StockX has been and is currently dealing in counterfeit Nike goods, which renders [its] ‘100% Verified Authentic’ claims false and/or misleading.”
  • The move away from “100% authentic” is also notable, as it is not the first time a reseller has made such a shift. The RealReal notably dropped references to the pre-owned products on its site as being “100% Authentic.” TRR’s shift in language followed from CNBC reports in 2019 that centered on counterfeit goods offered up by the reseller and from the still-ongoing lawsuit waged against it by Chanel a year prior, in which Chanel accused TRR of selling counterfeit goods and engaging in “improper business practices” by “represent[ing] to consumers that it ‘ensure[s] that every item on TRR is 100% the real thing.’”

The Bottom Line: The evolving language seems to be a nod to the still-potentially-rocky relationship between resale entities and brands, particularly as the secondary market continues to grow in value and as an increasing number brands begin to launch resale ventures of their own.

On the litigaton front: Beauty brands Dew Beauty and Tula Life are sparring over the “CLAYDATE” trademark. (That complaint is here.)

  • Kendall Jenner’s 818 tequila brand has settled a TM suit, accusing it of co-opting a fellow tequila co.’s “highly distinctive [512] logo and color scheme.” The parties stipulated dismissal with prejudice on Nov. 7.
  • Vans filed a 142-page amended complaint in its TM fight against Walmart, adding additional examples of allegedly infringing footwear, which Vans claims are designed by Walmart’s U.S. employees and sold in Canada, “including shoes that the Court specifically enjoined Walmart from selling in its Mar. 2022 preliminary injunction order.”

The week in earnings (and takeaways): The RealReareported results for Q3 ending on Sept. 30, with revenue rising 20% to $143M and net losses falling to $47.3M from $57.2M in Q3 2021. CFO and Co-interim CEO Robert Julian pointed to “strong demand” in Q3 for “RTW, handbags, men’s & branded fine jewelry.”

  • Richemont revenues rose by 16% at constant rates to €9.68B ($9.88B) for the first half of the year, driven by a spike in jewelry sales. Looking ahead, Richemont-owned Cartier’s CEO Cyrille Vigneron said, “China should get better, but when, we don’t know, and in the U.S. there are signs of recession but that is not unfolding now, so we don’t know.”
  • adidas reported 11% growth in revenue to €6.41B for Q3 but what stole the show here was the company’s revelation that it will continue to offer up Yeezy designs beginning in 2023, albeit under the adidas name. More about that here.

In recent deal-making newsGap is off-loading its Greater China arm – namely, Gap Shanghai Commercial and Gap Taiwan Ltd – to its operating partner in the region in an all-cash transaction worth $40M. Baozun Inc. will also obtain the exclusive rights “to manufacture, market, distribute and sell” Gap products in Greater China for a 20-year term.

  • Pre-owned luxury rental membership co. Vivrelle closed a $35M Series B round led by 3L Capita, with participation from Origin Ventures, Chapford Capital Group, Plus Capital, actresses Lily Collins and Nina Dobrev & TV personality Morgan Stewart McGraw.
  • Yaga, a e-commerce resale startup, has raised €2.2M in a round led by Startup Wise Guys, with participation from Trind Ventures, Specialist VC, and Rubylight.
  • Anything World, the platform for developing interactive 3D experiences through machine learning raised $7.5M in a “Seed Plus” round with investors including Acrew Capital, Alumni Ventures and Warner Music Group.