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NFTs and Intellectual Property

What should creators know about minting? On the third day of NFT.NYC 2021, panelists discussed what to consider about NFTs and intellectual property.

During the NFT.NYC 2021 event held in New York City, there was a discussion about NFTs and intellectual property. And, what should creators consider from a legal perspective about minting?

For Dave Rodman, founder and managing partner of The Rodman Law Group, the most important thing to consider when minting NFTs is copyright. Copyright rules are tied strongly to intellectual property law. He explained that a person could only mint a coin when they owned all the copyrights of a given work. In other words, he must be the author or collaborator of specific art. If he skips these considerations, he warns that he would already commit a crime.


But… What about Intellectual Property and copyright?

Copyright is the rights granted to the author who has created an original work. These rights protect the author’s interests and allow them to profit financially from the exploitation of the work. 

Copyright arises with the creation of original work without the need to register it. However, everyone would recommend voluntarily registering these works in the General Registry of Intellectual Property to facilitate the defense of these rights in legal proceedings. The registration generates a reliable date of authorship and ownership

And the fact is that increasingly with the Internet, it has become normalized to select and download works of other artists and use them for all kinds of purposes. We must bear in mind that, although most of the time, these infringements are not prosecuted (because they are difficult to track), we are indeed infringing the copyright of a person. That is to say, of its creator.


Buyer and creator must consider intellectual property rights

For his part, Stuart D. Levi, co-director of Skadden’s Technology and Intellectual Property Group, commented that the work’s buyer must also consider intellectual property rights. 

They also noted that intellectual property law works even though this NFT boom is in its infancy. This law section has “adapted quite well to technology compared to other areas.


When you buy a physical painting, you buy the work itself, but not the intellectual property. That stays with the artist. It’s the same scenario with most NFTs.

Stuart D. Levi


Verify platforms before creating NFTs

So they finally recommended that you consult the user agreement of your platform, emphasizing that all communication is essential. Both for those who buy and those who create, it is crucial to do the corresponding research before buying digital art or even uploading it to any platform.

They also highlighted their conviction that NFTs are an excellent alternative to fight against copyright infringement. And that they did not doubt that the platforms that bet on it would have all the advantages.


Nike protects its brand with NFT

Athletic apparel and footwear company Nike registered all its merchandise, including its “Just Do It” slogan and Jumpman logo, as “downloadable virtual goods” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This action could be motivated due to the growth of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and metaverses

Posted on the Patent Office website, Nike filled the document with the government agency on October 27. It registered “for use online and in online virtual worlds” footwear, garments, headwear, sunglasses, purses, backpacks, sports bags, sports equipment, toys, art, and accessories. 

Nike made a similar move, but that time it was to trademark the name “Cryptokicks.” At the time, Nike captured in the document that part of its objective was to provide “financial services, such as the provision of a digital money or digital token for usage by members of an online community over a worldwide computer network.” 

The U.S. company has not officially stated that it intends to enter NFTs or launch a cryptocurrency, so patenting all its products could be seen as a way to protect its brand in the face of the growth of these markets.

It is worth remembering that NFTs are a type of cryptographic token representing a unique, unrepeatable, and limited-in-quantity asset. In addition, they have characteristics of scarcity and rarity that make them attractive for serial purchases and collections.


New job opportunities

Although Nike has not expressed a desire to enter the world of NFTs, a job application on its website may suggest that they are at least contemplating it. “We are looking for a virtual materials designer to partner with materials design at Nike to create and visualize the world’s most sophisticated and innovative virtual materials concepts using 3D tools,” Nike highlights on its website. 

The position falls under the digital product creation group, which focuses on “igniting Nike’s digital and virtual revolution.” Nike’s publication describes the characteristics and skills the person wanting to occupy the new position must have. Among those characteristics, they state that the person must be proactive, with communication skills and knowledge of various 3D software and virtual material creation tools.

Also, the designer must have over five years of experience creating virtual materials. Ability to translate concepts and sketches into virtual materials. Ability to create new concepts and explore new materials, technologies, and innovative ideas. As reported by the company, the job is on-site and takes place in Oregon, USA.


NFTs as loan collateral.

The Block reported that a $1.4 million loan is the largest loan made using NFT as collateral. As such, the NftFi service usually supports this type of NFT exchange, but it had never handled one of such magnitude before this one. 

According to information published by the platform, they arranged the loan last October 28. The person responsible put as collateral NFT #488 from the Autoglyph collection, one of the rarest of that group of digitized works.

The Autoglyphs is a collection of generative art where the algorithm is responsible for creating the piece and storing it in the Ethereum Blockchain. Each part of this group of works has a reasonably high value within the leading specialized platforms, with each unit quoted at a minimum of 299 ETH ($1.3 million approximately). 

MetaStreet DAO, a decentralized autonomous organization whose purpose is to offer financing to all those willing to provide an NFT as collateral, facilitated the loan made by Autoglyph. In this case, they consigned the $1.4 million as the DAI stablecoin. 

While many DeFi protocols make loans in stablecoins in exchange for collateral deposits in various cryptocurrencies, the mechanics of incorporating NFTs seems to be gaining more and more popularity. When people request a loan, the NFT is provided as collateral in these cases. The counterparty will take the tokenized artwork if the requested amount is not paid.


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