Companies’ NFT trademark filings aren’t just a marketing ploy. They must use what is in the application, according to a trademark attorney.
This year, cryptocurrency supporters would be wise to keep an eye on nonfungible token (NFT) and metaverse trademark applications, which are “reliable signals” of future-use plans.
According to intellectual property lawyer Michael Kondoudis, speaking to Cointelegraph, while many people believe big corporations are just jumping on the NFT trend as a novelty, “it is not possible” to register a trademark in the United States with no intention of using it.
Despite a relatively low filing fee of $250 to $350 per class of goods/services, Kondoudis explained that when a company submits a trademark application, it must include a sworn statement that the applicant has a “bona fide” intent to use the mark in the future for the listed products and services.
However, he stated that these applications “go through substantive review” and may be denied for a variety of legal and technical reasons.
A slew of major corporations have already filed for NFT-related trademark applications in 2023, and Kondoudis has been active on Twitter in bringing them to the public’s attention.
“The first trend for 2023,” according to Kondoudis, is liquor companies filing for NFT trademark applications.
According to him, new filings from well-known alcohol brands such as Absolut Vodka, Chivas Regal whisky, and Malibu Rum have already occurred this year.
On January 18, Irish Distillers International, the maker of Jameson Irish whisky, became the latest liquor company to file an NFT trademark application.
According to Kondoudis, in 2022, a wide range of industries will file for NFT trademarks, including grocery stores, pet food brands, sports teams and leagues, cities, casinos, and even game shows.
He believes the sheer volume of filings proves that NFTs and the metaverse have “corporate America’s” attention.
Kondoudis is confident that companies will use their NFT patents in the future, noting:
“These trademark filings are reliable signals of future plans to use marks for the products and services listed in the applications.”
According to Ralph Kalsi, CEO of Blockchain Australia, entering the NFT patent space can provide significant growth opportunities for businesses.
According to Kalsi, as NFTs gain popularity, companies with NFT patents can capitalise on the potential growth by licencing their technology or developing their own NFT-based products and services.
He sees the NFT patent space as a “promising area” in which a company can establish itself as a leader by being an early adopter of NFT technology.
He added that owning related patents is advantageous in the early stages of NFTs because it can provide a competitive advantage and prevent others from using “similar technology without permission.”
According to a Jan. 5 tweet from Kondoudis, NFT applications totaled 7,746 in 2022, representing a nearly 260% increase over 2021.
In a separate tweet on the same day, he stated that metaverse applications totaled 5,850 last year, a nearly 206% increase from 2021.