NFT Trademark Filings Soar in 2021

nft trademark filings
In 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) trademark filings at the UPSTO in reached 1,505, up from a paltry 15 filings in 2020.

In 2021, trademark filings for non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) reached a record high. The high volume trademark filings represent explosive interest in the new digital asset economy, digital art, and Web3. However, based upon the data available from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), trademark filings increased dramatically since March 2021.

How Many NFT Trademarks Were Filed in 2021?

As of December 2021, applicants filed 1,505 separate trademark applications during the entire calendar year.

In contrast, 2020 saw only a paltry 15 separate NFT trademark filings. The table below shows the number of trademarks filed, not registered.

Trademark Filing MonthNumber of Trademarks Filed for Registration
January 20211
February 20216
March 2021*58
April 2021123
May 202199
June 2021119
July 202180
August 2021134
September 2021119
October 2021281
November 2021365
December 2021**120 (as of December 12, 2021)
TOTAL**1,505** (as of December 12, 2021)
*Filings increased dramatically following Beeple’s $69 million auction for “Everydays – The First 5000 Days” in March 2021. **Filings are as of December 12, 2021.

The date shows that NFT trademark filings soared from only seven trademark filings between January 2021 to February 2021, to 58 filed in March 2021.

What Caused the Substantial Increase in NFT Filings?

Interestingly, the timeframe coincides with Beeple‘s March 2021 “Everydays – The First 5000 Days,” action for $69 million–the third highest auction earned by any living artist. This seminal event saw significant public interest in NFTs, digital assets, and cryptocurrency trading.

In 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) trademark filings at the UPSTO in reached 1,505, up from a paltry 15 filings in 2020.
In 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) trademark filings at the UPSTO in reached 1,505, up from a paltry 15 filings in 2020.

Is There a Trend in NFT Trademark Filings?

International Classes are divided into goods (International Classes 1-34) and services (International Classes 35-45). Most NFT trademark filings are are service-based filings in International Classes.

However, a significant number of filings chose Class 9 (called “Electrical and Scientific Apparatus”), a goods Class. This is unsurprising because Class 9 includes “non-downloadable” video or image products. In addition, a significant minority number of filings are in Class 16 (i.e., paper goods) and Class 25 (apparel).

As shown below, most NFTs filings are clustered in Classes 35-45, with Class 42 (i.e., software and digital services) as the most common service-class filing. This means that most NFT filers intend to protect their NFTs as a service.

International ClassNumber of Trademarks Filed
12
20
32
40
53
62
77
80
9791
100
110
121
130
1411
150
1696
171
1813
190
2010
218
220
230
240
25122
262
272
2861
290
303
310
324
332
342
35505
36263
372
3848
3919
409
41347
42604
4313
446
4564
Most NFT filings are found in service-based Classes (i.e., Classes 35-45). However, Class 9, a goods Class received a decent number of filings.

Conclusion

In sum, the explosive growth in NFTs has given rise to a number of USPTO trademark filings for NFTs. However, because this is a relatively new industry, there is much speculation about its trajectory. Opponents claim NFTs and Web3 is likely a transient fad. On the other hand, proponents believe that this is a revolution in autonomy. However, if the number of trademark filings is any indication, this is just the beginning of something significant in the digital economy. 2020 saw only only 15 trademark filings while there are 1,505 trademark filings in 2021 and counting. If you want to trademark an NFT, Syed Law can help.

Ahad Syed

Ahad Syed

Ahad Syed is the founder and Managing Attorney at Syed Law. Mr. Syed has filed hundreds of trademark applications with the USPTO. He serves clients from all 50 U.S. States and worldwide.

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