Curios raised $5MM in 6 days     LEARN MORE
Loaded
Aug 16, 2022

NFTs, Brands, and Trademarks

How do NFTs, brands, and trademarks all coexist? Before we dive into the relationship between them all we need to establish what a NFT is, and what s trademark is.

NFTs (Non-Fungible Token) are a type of blockchain token that verifies ownership of digital items. Non fungible means that each NFT token is completely unique and is publicly verifiable on a blockchain.

Trademarks allow you to take any word or graphic, and apply to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to grant you protection for that word or graphic, meaning you are the only one who can use/own it.

NFT Technologies are a better way for proving ownership of a trademarked word or graphic, which makes the future use of them highly favored. In the future the USPTO could use NFTs to grant someone proof of ownership of the trademark rights via the blockchain versus their current archaic methods of paperwork and centralized databases.

NFTs themselves are NOT trademark-able however the art that you own via the NFT is. You can apply to get this art trademarked by submitting an application at USPTO.gov. Once you get your trademark approved, ideally you would add the serial number of the trademark and an image of the certificate from the USPTO office to the metadata of the NFT, for tracking and database purposes. Unfortunately due to the current system of trademarks even if you were to sell your NFT the trademark rights would not be transferred; the person or company that is officially registered with the USPTO would still be recognized as the holder of the trademark.

What parts of an NFT can you trademark?

You can trademark the name and logo you use to promote your NFT or the property represented by your NFT. 

You can also trademark services related to NFTs.  Some examples include:

  • financial services such as non-fungible token trading
  • issuance of digital tokens
  • providing online non-downloadable virtual goods, namely, digital art, photographs, videos, or audio recordings featuring
  • creation of online retail stores for others to create hosted crypto collectible and blockchain-based non-fungible token stores

Examples of NFT Trademarks

The surge in NFT trademark applications is fueled primarily by small businesses and individuals. Still, big brands are increasingly taking note and are applying to trademark their brands for NFTs. Naturally, businesses are curious about what an NFT trademark looks like. Here is list of recent applications for an NFT trademark:

  1. Bazooka  (U.S. TM App No. 97072828)
  2. Brookstone  (U.S. TM App No. 97130320)
  3. Clinique  (U.S. TM App No. 97115394)
  4. Converse  (U.S. TM App No. 97107367)
  5. Entertainment Weekly  (U.S. TM App No. 90751600)
  6. Fanatics  (U.S. TM App No. 97156019)
  7. Garbage Pail Kids  (U.S. TM App No. 97072832)
  8. Hot Wheels NFT Garage  (U.S. TM App No. 90767267)
  9. Jay-Z  (U.S. TM App No. 97118641)
  10. John Wick  (U.S. TM App No. 90688332)
  11. Live Nation  (U.S. TM App No. 97089071)
  12. Saks  (U.S. TM App No. 90789965)
  13. Stratocaster  (U.S. TM App No. 90626105)
  14. Ticketmaster  (U.S. TM App No. 97089225)
  15. UFC  (U.S. TM App No. 90668412)
  16. Warhol  (U.S. TM App No. 90602664)

https://www.reuters.com/legal/legalindustry/demystifying-nfts-intellectual-property-trademark-copyright-concerns-2022-06-17/

https://www.mekiplaw.com/nfts-and-trademarks-the-ultimate-guide/