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NFT trademark filings to futureproof big companies

By James Wan

What you need to know (in a nutshell)

  1. NFT trademark filings by companies are not just a marketing stunt. They must use what’s in the application.
  2. Intellectual property lawyer Michael Kondoudis suggests these applications are “reliable signals” of future-use plans.
  3. This year has already seen several major companies filing for NFT-related trademark applications, including well-known alcohol brands such as Absolut Vodka, Chivas Regal whisky and Malibu Rum. The trend is expected to continue as these filings will be acted upon in the future.

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Filing trademarks for nonfungible tokens (NFTs) is more than a mere marketing ploy. According to an intellectual property lawyer, applicants must utilise what they specify in the application form. Crypto enthusiasts should be vigilant for NFT and metaverse trademark applications this year, as they serve as dependable indicators of companies’ future plans. Michael Kondoudis, an attorney specialising in intellectual property law, informed Cointelegraph that while many might assume corporations are merely intrigued by NFTs, it is not possible to register a trademark in the United States without genuine intent to use it, given the requisite sworn statements confirming such intentions.

Kondoudis emphasised that applications undergo a stringent evaluation and may be rejected for various legal or technical reasons. This year, numerous prominent firms have submitted trademark requests related to NFTs, which Kondoudis has actively reported on Twitter. He observed that one emerging trend in 2023 is liquor companies applying for NFT-related trademarks.

The year 2021 saw an increase in NFT trademark applications from well-known alcohol brands, including Absolut Vodka, Chivas Regal whisky, and Malibu Rum. In January, Irish Distillers International, makers of Jameson Irish whiskey, submitted their own NFT trademark application. According to Kondoudis, filings have emerged from various sectors, ranging from pet food companies and sports teams to cities, casinos, and game shows. This influx confirms predictions that digital assets like NFTs will continue to experience exponential growth.

NFT patents give companies a competitive edge, as they will likely be utilised in future products and services. Ralph Kalsi, CEO of Blockchain Australia, commented on the significant growth potential of the NFT patent space for organisations that incorporate it into their strategies. Kalsi believes companies can benefit from licensing their technology or developing new products and services based on NFTs. Early adoption of this innovative technology can establish businesses as industry pioneers.

Furthermore, Kalsi underscored that owning related patents can offer enterprises a competitive advantage while protecting them from the unauthorised exploitation of similar technologies. This reinforces the notion that owning rights associated with NFTs and gaining recognition through US Trademark and Copyright offices is advantageous during the early stages of NFT development and its impact on intellectual property law. Additionally, Kondoudis revealed that metaverse-related applications experienced a remarkable 206% increase from 2021 to 2022, highlighting this technology’s rapid development and growing popularity.