- UKIPO has shared a document for NFTs.
- The IP body provided context on what goods and services it accepts.
NFTs are still considered a nascent sector despite their booming status. Given the rising adoption from users, governments worldwide are trying to understand the technology better and regulate it for citizens.
This includes the UK government, which after the appointment of crypto-friendly Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, has its sights set on laying the regulatory groundwork for all things crypto, especially NFT trademarks.
A Solid Foundation
On Monday, April 3, The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) shared a guide titled “The Classification of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), Virtual Goods, and Services Provided in the Metaverse.”
The document guides customers looking to apply for UK trademarks related to NFTs, digital assets, and the metaverse. UKIPO released the guidance amid a rising number of trademark applications.
UKIPO’s guide on NFTs and the metaverse comes after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) shared their trademark documents in August and September 2022, respectively.
The report defines an NFT as a “unique and unalterable digital authenticity certificate” used to “represent the asset’s ownership but not necessarily the underlying IP, such as copyright.”
The file shared what the UKIPO considers NFTs, including digital art, applications, audio files, digital files, and pictures. It also shared directions for NFT-backed physical goods, club memberships, and other services.
The manual asserted that all NFTs could be sold or provided via an online marketplace like other goods and services.
The UKIPO also shared guidelines for the metaverse, including the services it deems acceptable, and services it does not. The report claimed the UKIPO would accept services capable of being delivered via virtual means, such as training services.
On The Flipside
- The UK Treasury recently pulled back on its plans of releasing government-back NFTs initially proposed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
- Venture capitalist Animoca Brands released a set of NFT licenses that enforced creator royalties.
Why You Should Care
NFTs are relatively new. The sector has yet to develop a solid universal framework pertaining to copyrights, terms of usage, and trademarks. Governments regulating the space could provide a better foundation for the asset and reduce misunderstandings and future legal disputes.
The United Kingdom backtracked from its NFT plans:
Royal Mint NFT Plans Suspended as UK Continues Web3 Backtrack