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 Month||Number of Trademarks Filed for Registration|
|December 2021**||120 (as of December 12, 2021)|
|TOTAL**||1,505** (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.
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 Class||Number of Trademarks Filed|
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.
You must be logged in to post a comment.