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In a significant decision for NFT content owners worldwide, the producers of the Bored Aped Yacht Club NFT collection, Yuga, have successfully used unregistered trade mark rights and claims of false designation of origin under the US Lanham Act (as well as domain name squatting claims) to obtain a summary judgment against individual defendants who had created an NFT collection pointing to, that is, reusing, Yuga's Bored Ape Yacht Club images. Read more about these decisions and NFTs in general in our series The IP in NFTs. Read more
The new version of the Nice Classification, the 12th edition, carries new categories for registration of trade marks in relation to NFTs and is being used by several national trade mark offices including the EUIPO and IP Australia. Read more to discover the approach being taken there and in the UK to marks in the metaverse? Read more
By Sue Gilchrist, Aaron Hayward, Byron Turner and Joshua Sanchez-Lawson Hermès has succeeded in its case of trade mark infringement against non-fungible token (NFT) artist Mason Rothschild. This was the first US trial considering the enforceability of intellectual property rights against the creator of NFTs. The outcome represents a win for IP owners in the … Read more
The IP Division of the Court of Rome has issued a preliminary injunction to prohibit the minting and marketing of Non-Fungible-Tokens ("NFT") that, unauthorised, reproduced well-known trade marks owned by the Juventus football club. While various cases related to NFTs and intellectual property rights are pending before the US courts, this is the first time that a court in Europe has found an NFT to be infringing IP rights, setting a useful precedent for brand owners seeking to protect their trade marks in the new era of the metaverse. Read more
How should digital assets be treated in terms of property? This is what the Law Commission of England and Wales has been considering in its consultation paper paper on the recognition and protection of digital assets which is open for responses until 4 November 2022. The consultation paper recommends law reform to recognise a third … Read more
The creation ("minting") and sale and use of NFTsraises many IP issues which we have discussed in our previous posts in our IP in NFTs series. However, brand owners and product manufacturers must also be vigilant in monitoring the virtual marketplaces to ensure that third parties are not creating NFTs that infringe their own IP rights. This is especially true where the company is considering releasing or has released NFTs, because the public will begin to associate the brand with NFTs (which could include infringing NFTs). There are several strategies that companies could adopt to minimise this risk. Read more
Creating an NFT can give rise to other IP issues, aside from questions of transfer of rights. In particular there is the issue of who in fact has the right to create and release NFTs and whether the NFT infringes third party rights.
In this third of our series of NFT IP blog posts, we deal with "minting", ie the creation and sale of NFTs. Read more
As we reported in our first blog post in this series, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a new asset class that is being adopted eagerly across all sectors, raising some interesting challenges from an IP perspective. While NFTs have demonstrated themselves to be a powerful tool in the new digital era, they remain poorly understood, in particular in relation to the rights that are (or are not) transferred on purchase of an NFT.
Releasing (known as "minting") and purchasing NFTs can give rise to a number of IP-related issues, such as:
- Who has the right to create and release NFTs?
- Does the NFT infringe third party rights?
- What rights are transferred with the NFT (and on resale)?
- How this rights transfer is achieved? Read more
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are one of the hottest IP topics currently. NFTs can be used simply for marketing purposes or as a new form of asset to attract investment or as part of the transfer of products and services into the Metaverse.This new asset class has exploded across all sectors and raises some interesting challenges from an IP perspective. While NFTs have demonstrated themselves to be a powerful tool in the new digital era, they remain poorly understood. In our series of blog posts on NFTs, we explore intellectual property considerations, misconceptions and issues that we are seeing arising in the NFT space, including, in this first blog post, clarifying what NFTs are and how they can create effective control over digital assets and the use of NFTs for provenance and anti-counterfeiting. Read more