Home » NFT » Is NFT revolutionising the Patent Law?

Yes, the NFT Marketplace development has been evolving in every possible sector, and recently, it has entered the patent space by taking over the world of Art and Technology. With this evolution, the opportunities and challenges pertaining to patent law have also been highlighted. The patent enables the NFT owner to licence the technology they utilise for their NFT and facilitate the users to have a genuine brand collection. The NFT transactions have spurred the changes in the art market by making transactions more secure and accessible, but the authentication of the owner still remains an issue.

In terms of evolution, the NFT marketplace development has evolved highly and has many innovative uses, such as a tool to transfer patent assets. The NFT could be utilised to transfer the ownership of the patent. The records of the patent owner can be created over the blockchain with tokens having self-executing contracts that transfer the legal rights upon transfer of the tokens. Further, it can be utilised to track university tech transfers. The universities have been utilising IPwe to handle their intellectual property. Also, we can see that NFT has been recognized for transferring data or fundraising operations. Hence, there are several new opportunities that the NFT marketplace development has introduced in terms of patent law. For example, the U.C. Berkeley auction of NFTs connected to groundbreaking biotech research enabled both; new access to sign documents and funding sources for future research. IPwe and IBM are trying to build a more efficient marketplace for patent assets. However, there are several drawbacks also for the buyers, such as the NFT doesn’t automatically transmit your ownership or licence until a smart contract is associated with it. The buyer needs to be responsible for what they are buying prior to the bid on the NFT associated with intellectual property. As NFT is a digital tool, it remains vulnerable to hackers as it can be hacked or stolen.

Further, is it possible to generate an NFT that doesn’t belong to the user? There has already been news of instances of copyright infringement. Some artists reported that their artwork was being minted as the NFT without their knowledge. Several instances of alleged infringement have been solved outside the court by removing the token from the auction platform. The patent law comes into play for NFTs in many ways. For instance, the possible utilisation of these tokens is in some sort of digital rights management scheme. Where most NFT doesn’t involve a transfer of rights, in various instances the seller allows the token to actually transfer the ownership of the original work. However, it becomes difficult in case the ownership is compliant with the legal formalities required to transfer copyright. So, it becomes difficult to see how the NFT will fulfil these needs.

The non-fungible token forms a digital scarcity for objects or information that can be easily duplicated or reproduced. This helps in establishing the value for both seller and customer.  The benefits enjoyed by the author of work incorporate its publication, reproduction, rental and lending, and public performance and adaptation. The NFT marketplace development has been increasing the money and accessibility as artists and art designers can now sell their artwork to a big customer base. A growing interest in NFTs has been seen from the perspective of patent and copyright law because most of the work that is traded as NFT is protected by patent law.

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