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NFT Lawyer

Ten years ago, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) did not even exist. Now, they have captured the public’s imagination. Billions of dollars are being made in this marketplace. Where there is money, regulators will follow. There are numerous legal issues involved with NFTs. If you are involved in this space, you will need the expertise of an attorney, especially given the new and always-changing legal landscape.

Creators want to monetize their NFT portfolio. There is a vibrant market, and collectors are willing to pay large amounts of money for an NFT. At the same time, someone who is spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on an NFT also wants to protect themselves.

Contact our experienced Internet & Trademark lawyers

NFT & Blockchain Lawyers Who Specialize in Web3 Technology and Law.

Our NFT and blockchain lawyers and staff have represented technology and software companies for 30 years. We understand blockchain technology, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), and business models related to cryptocurrency. Our attorneys regularly advise on emerging issues related to blockchain, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and crypto, including issues relating to intellectual property, website agreements,  contracts, business, data privacy, and related issues, including both related to software and hardware. We can assist in most aspects of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, including legal and regulatory issues related to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (including Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Monero, and others), as well as NFT marketplaces.

Legal Issues Involved with NFTs

If you are buying or selling something that could have significant value, there are always legal issues. Any high-dollar transaction requires legal expertise to protect your own interests. You would not enter into a large transaction without a specialized review of potential legal issues.

NFTs could involve issues of:

  • Intellectual property
  • Crypto
  • Securities law
  • Contracts
  • Taxation

At its core, an NFT involves a sales contract. Each contract may have different terms, depending on your individual situation. The more valuable the NFT, the greater the need for a customized contract. The particular sales contract will be binding, and every word and comma has an effect. Any mistakes or oversights could affect your legal rights.

Are NFTs Considered Securities?

One of the major legal issues that market participants will face is how federal (and state) securities laws will apply to NFTs. If an NFT is legally considered to be a security, the offering would need to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If someone sells an unregistered security, they could face federal enforcement action. The primary test that you need to be aware of is the Howey test, which considers something to be a security if:

  • an investment of money,
  • in a common enterprise,
  • with the expectation of profit and
  • to be derived from the efforts of others

Those who sell NFTs want to avoid having to register their offerings with the SEC. An NFT lawyer could help you structure the transaction where registration is not necessary.

Intellectual Property Issues and NFTs

NFTs often involve images or other types of intellectual property that belong to someone. One cannot simply take someone else’s copyrighted work and sell it as an NFT because that would be an infringement. Instead, the intellectual property owner either sells or licenses their rights. If you are involved in the creation of NFTs, you would need to negotiate a licensing agreement with the rightsholder. These rights could be either assigned or licensed. If you own intellectual property rights, you may need to take action if your rights are being violated.

Those who buy NFTs may be surprised to know that they do not fully own the rights, even if the NFT is in their digital wallet. The NFT is not yours to do with it as you wish. You cannot make it available to the general public, nor can you recreate it and sell it. The owner of the intellectual property could still take action against you, even if you have paid a large sum of money for the NFT.

However, the buyer and seller of an NFT could reach their own agreement that dictates how the owner can use it. The agreement could allow them to make a limited amount of money from owning the NFT each year. Everything depends on the provisions of the specific contract between the parties.

How an NFT Lawyer Can Help You

An attorney can be of help to you by identifying legal issues that you may face. With such a new and shifting area of the law, being able to anticipate future challenges provides you with significant value.

Here are some of the functions that an NFT attorney would perform for you:

  • Negotiating an agreement to collaborate to mint NFTs and sell them on an auction marketplace
  • Helping to protect your NFT portfolio
  • Negotiating listing terms with the third-party auctioneer
  • Reviewing the NFT and the offering to ensure that they comply with federal securities laws
  • Analyzing a potential offering for intellectual property issues and negotiating with or taking against someone to ensure that copyrights are protected
  • Negotiating terms that govern secondary listings of the NFT
  • Helping determine how “gas” fees are paid to validators on Ethereum
  • Assisting you in planning for future tax liabilities

 

Why Do I Need a Lawyer With Expertise in Blockchain, NFT, or Crypto Technology?

A lawyer that understands the law is great. An attorney and law firm that understands the technology underlying blockchain, crypto, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is better. We are a team of lawyers, paralegals, and staff who provide a wide range of expertise for early-stage, growth, and mature companies in the blockchain space.  Our team acts as outside general counsel to a wide range of blockchain, crypto, and NFT projects who require business, corporate, trademark, copyright, litigation, and other legal issues.  We have experience in representing companies and individuals in connection with all of their legal needs relative to the blockchain, NFTs, and crypto, including:

    • Business formation. We can assist you with registering your business entity (LLC, C-corp, S-Corp) and also advise on its structure and governance considerations, whether you are a blockchain or NFT marketplace, individual investor, and other types of business.

    • Are you Launching Your Own NFT Project or Drop?  If you want to sell or mint NFTs, you need to understand both trademark and copyright law. You need to get your contractor, employee, and founder contracts nailed down tight.  Your website agreements, terms of service, privacy agreement, and marketing language should be reviewed by an NFT lawyer.  Yur NFT drop needs a sales or license agreement so that the NFT buyer knows what they are getting with their digital asset.  Our NFT lawyers can help you design an NFT project so that your valuable IP is protected, your community is protected and your overall risk of liability in the future is reduced.

    • NFT, token and Crypto fraud, scams, and rug pulls. Traverse Legal’s blockchain lawyers are handling litigation against fraudsters who engage in illegal and unethical behavior in their NFT or token offerings.  The number of scams, unfair business practices, and consumer fraud will only get worse before it gets better. Litigation around NFTs and crypto is only just beginning. See some examples of NFT litigation here.

    • Contract drafting. Our lawyers can review, draft, advise, and negotiate any necessary agreement, from sales transactions to marketplace terms and conditions. Whether for sports memorabilia, art, or something else, contracts will govern many of the transactions related to these technologies relying upon the blockchain database or smart contracts.

    • Intellectual property protection. Our blockchain attorneys are skilled in all areas of intellectual property law, including copyright, trademark infringement issues, threat letters, and trademark registration. We can assist you with filing, prosecuting, defending, monitoring, enforcing, and assigning your intellectual property assets. Ownership, along with the chain of title, is just as important in these technologies as with tangible property.

    • Litigation & Dispute Resolution. Traverse Legal has vast experience in mediation, arbitration, and litigation. In the event of a dispute over ownership, a transaction went poorly, or otherwise, we can help navigate and try to favorably resolve any such dispute.

    • NFT Marketplace Website Agreements:  Your Terms of use, Terms of Service, Privacy Agreements, and Copyright Policies are your primary protection for everyone who uses your platform. We draft NFT-specific website terms for companies like you.

NFT Lawyer Enrico Schaefer

 

Traverse Legal’s NFT lawyers Already Represent Web3 Companies Like Yours.

The blockchain legal team at Traverse Legal is here to advise you and help you understand the legal issues you may face based on its experience and proven track record in helping technology companies like yours find success.

Legal Checklist for NFT Projects:

    • Do a trademark availability search for your project name. If something similar already exists, you could get shut down, lose your domain name, and have to shut down your NFT store.

    • Register your project name as a trademark as soon as you determine the name is available.

    • Obtain a work-for-hire agreement with all artists involved in creating the digital image for your NFT project. Make sure your company actually owns the copyright to the images associated with your NFT.

    • Draft a copyright licensing agreement for your NFT project as part of your roadmap. You need to understand your licensing model before you launch, and typically as part of your initial business plan.

    • Make sure your project offering won’t be considered a security by the SEC. there are a number of factors that will impact the issue of whether your NFT is considered a security.

    • Determine how you will permanently communicate copyright rights to your NFT buyers through the platform, on your website, or on the interplanetary file system.

Contact an NFT Lawyer Today

Traverse Law PLC works at the cutting edge of emerging technologies, bringing our expertise to the table to help our clients navigate new situations. We understand the technology and the market, and we contribute to your transaction. You can speak to an attorney by sending us a message online or calling us today at (866) 728-2197.

Traverse Legal’s Attorneys are globally recognized for their experience and results in the legal areas of: Complex Litigation, Internet, Trademark, Copyright, Cybersquatting, Drone, Defamation, Trade Secret, Non-Compete, and Business Law.

Enrico Schaefer

Founding attorney Enrico is a seasoned consultant who guides companies, including law firms, in effectively integrating artificial intelligence (AI). With a wide range of consulting services, Enrico assists clients in harnessing the power of AI while ensuring ethical and responsible implementation.

Years of experience: 35+ years

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We’re here to field your questions and concerns. If you are a company able to pay a reasonable legal fee each month, please contact us today.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Enrico Schaefer, who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a practicing Business, IP, and Technology Law litigation attorney.