Intellectual Property Protection Plan – Must have or Must have?
As part of the NFT acquisition, you cannot assume that the recipient receives absolute IP rights. NFTs represent data on a blockchain, which can not be considered as an original creative expression under intellectual property law. Then what is a creative expression and in what manner it should be protected?
It is an original work of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. In more simple words: Literary works; musical works, pictorial, graphic, sculptural works; motion pictures, audiovisual works; etc.
Should you register copyright to enjoy the protection? Not necessarily, as most of the countries have adopted the Bern convention, under which registration is not necessary to enjoy the benefits of copyright protection. Creative expressions are protected once they can be visually perceived, heard, or in another manner can be fixed so people are able to reproduce.
What about trademark protection? NFT businesses mainly apply for trademarks and that might be the best option in terms of brand protection in a long run.
- Before you hire an NFT artist or an agency, make sure that you have a properly drafted Licensing agreement (If we have not mentioned this before, we can provide IP compliance services too)
- Jot down the licensing options for the community i.e. what type of rights they will be granted once they purchase an NFT.
- Don’t reveal too much art before the actual launch happens.
- Apply for trademark protection for the brand.
- Don’t ignore, take down illegal content with cease and desist letters and/or DMCA notices.