The Rise of Trademark Applications Related to NFT and Metaverse | Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti, LLP
[author: Olivia Lee Jones]
The curiosity, excitement, skepticism and enthusiasm surrounding non-fungible tokens (“NFT”) and the metaverse is at an all time high! Since we first discussed the metaverse, a number of individuals and companies have initiated plans to venture into this virtual space, as evidenced by the increase in virtual product trademark applications filed with of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). This week’s NFT Newsroom article discusses what a trademark is and the increase in trademark inquiries associated with trademarks in the metaverse.
A trademark can be any word, phrase, symbol, design (or combination) that identifies a particular good or service. This is how consumers recognize brands in the market and distinguish brands from competitors. A trademark identifies the source of goods or services, provides legal protection to the trademark, and protects against counterfeiting and fraud. As the NFT industry continues to soar (surpassing $40 billion in 2021) more and more brands are capitalizing on this movement and filing for trademark protection.
The following are just a few examples of how businesses and individuals across a myriad of industries are seeking to protect their intellectual property related to virtual goods and services.
– Brooklyn Nets filed three trademarks apps (serial numbers 97226848, 97225218, 97224598) for the “Netaverse” brand indicating that they are looking to become the first NBA team to enter the Metaverse.
– Nike filed seven different cases apps (serial numbers 97095855, 97095944, 97096945, 97096236, 97096950, 97096952, 97096366), for its most famous marks – “Nike”, “Just Do It”, “Jordan”, “Air Jordan”, the Nike swoosh logo, the Jordan silhouette logo and a combination of the Nike name and the swoosh logo – for use on various virtual goods and services.
– walmart also filed seven new trademarks apps (serial numbers 97197301, 97197298, 97197296, 97197334, 97197329, 97197328, 97197317) indicating its intention to create its own cryptocurrency and collection of NFTs in addition to manufacturing and selling virtual goods, including electronics, home decorations, toys, sporting goods and sports products. personal care.
– Shaquille O’Nealin partnership with Authentic Brands Group, registered three trademarks apps (serial numbers 97184881, 97184876, 97184867) for its brand “SHAQ” for entertainment services, namely providing footwear, clothing, headgear, eyewear, bags, backpacks, sports equipment, art, toys and virtual accessories for use in virtual environments.
– by Kobe Bryant estate filed three trademarks apps (serial numbers 97244916, 97244877, 97244917) for the terms “Kobe Bryant”, “Mamba Forever” and “Mambacita”. According to the filings, the marks will be used for virtual and digital goods such as artwork, avatars and collectibles for use online and in virtual worlds.
– The Topps Company trademark application for Garbage Pail Kids (serial number. 97072832) is intended to protect downloadable electronic data files containing artwork, text, images, audio, video, and NFTs.
– Iconic hip-hop legends Grandmaster Flash and Jay Z have filed a trademark apps (serial numbers 97244525 and 97118679) signaling their intention to become more involved in online virtual worlds.
– The Shoe Company Crocodile filed a trademark application (serial number. 97212947) requesting the right to use the Crocs name on NFTs for shoes, apparel, bags, accessories, and charms for decoration, as well as the software necessary to create and sell the digital items.
– The Coachella Music Festival filed a trademark application (serial number. 97205715) for use including downloadable audio and video recordings featuring live musical performances authenticated by NFTs.
– Edward R. Pressman Film Society filed a trademark application (serial number. 90796288) For the movie American psycho seeking to protect digital materials, including downloadable NFTs, digital tokens, digital stickers and digital trading cards. In the same way, Vortex, Inc.. filed a application (serial number. 97197245) for the movie TTexas Chainsaw Massacre which includes downloadable image files containing artwork authenticated by NFTs and downloadable media files containing artwork relating to horror movies authenticated by NFTs.
The examples mentioned above show how widespread NFTs are becoming in our society.
Through: Olivia Lee Jones. Olivia is a contributing member of Ingram’s Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) newsroom and practices general commercial litigation, assisting clients with a variety of business-related questions and disputes.