If you are considering selling NFTs, starting an NFT project, or doing your own NFT drop, you need to protect your valuable intellectual property right out of the gate. Once you start selling NFTs, it becomes harder to protect your trademarks and copyrights. Fraud, counterfeiting, and scams are rampant. If your NFT project is successful, you should expect imitators to try and steal your profits, your goodwill land your brand value. If you are a brand looking to take advantage of the NFT market, you have even more risk of tarnishment by third-party infringers, and sometimes even the purchasers of your NFTs. Our NFT lawyers can help you build a strong foundation for your NFT project. In the video below, you will learn about some key trademark and copyright protection strategies that every NFT drop should be implementing. Using the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Crypto Punk NFTs as examples, NFT attorney ENrico Schaefer walks you through fundamental errors which should be avoided for your NFT project.
The best way to protect the intellectual property of your NFT project is to (a) register your digital assets as copyrights and (b) register your project name as a trademark. This will give you the leverage you need against counterfeiters and scams who try to piggyback off your brand value and goodwill with your NFT community. Most NFT projects fail to protect their own IP. Your project name and website URL are likely trademarks. Your digital asset, often mistaken as the NFT itself, is often copyrightable. Yes, you are selling an NFT / smart contract on the blockchain. But you are licensing a digital asset linked from that token.
The artwork, image, video, or other digital assets requires a separate contract telling the seller what rights they are receiving, and limitations on those license rights. Some of the most popular NFT drops failed to appropriately address these key legal issues, which remain unresolved. The good news is that the NFT projects being launched today are in a better position to get it right, right out of the gate.
Hire an NFT attorney who has expertise in copyright, trademark, and IP law can save you a lot of money and headaches down the line. As importantly, a good attorney can reduce your risk of being sued later. But the best part about hiring one of the best NFT attorneys is that you will be able to protect your company, your brand, and your community from counterfeiters and fraudsters who will try to illegally imitate your success. Learn more below.
The NFT is a smart contract on the blockchain. That smart contract includes a hyperlink to a digital file – an image, video, audio, or text file – hosted on a server like any other internet file. The linked digital asset is not on the blockchain. If the linked digital asset is a unique work of authorship, then it may be subject to copyright ownership. The artists, musicians, videographer, or other author is the owner of the copyright and has certain exclusive rights to preclude others from use. An experienced NFT attorney who also understands copyright law can help you understand the rights in the linked digital asset. Here are some copyright law resources.
Trademarks protect brands. The name of your NFT project is likely subject to trademark law. This means your project name, or listing name on OpenSea, must not be confusingly similar to any other NFT project name. Assuming your project has superior trademark rights, you can preclude other NFT projects from using confusingly similar project names for their NFT drop.
The Attorneys at Traverse Legal has been globally recognized for their experience and results in both IP protection and blockchain expertise. Whether you are trying to protect your trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, or other intellectual property, our lawyers can assist. Contact our team today!