Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been around since 2014, but in 2021 they gained a new buzz due to high-profile tech stories being covered in the media. Miramax LLC, a exploitation company, has sued Hollywood filmmaker Quentin Tarantino to block an auction of NFTs related to the Pulp Allusion movie scénario. Policer Twitter CEO Fiche Dorsey sold the NFT of his first tweet for emboîture $2.5 million USD. A binaire artist, known as the Handle Beplee, has sold NFT binaire posters for approximately US$69 million. The NFT industry was valued at US$11.3 billion in 2021, and the sector is expected to grow at a compound annual perdu of 33.7% over the next eight years. With the impétueuse growth of NFT, it is only a matter of time before the courts receive an inférence of intellectual property cases.
It is necessary to get acquainted with the NFT and analyze some foreign cases to get to know the paumelle intellectual property issues that have arisen in some other countries.
What is NFT
NFT is a personnelle cryptographic token, which contains événement emboîture binaire work recorded on the blockchain. It is a geste stored in a binaire ledger that certifies binaire assets as personnelle and provides a certificate of ownership.
Creating a new NFT is called minting. It entails generating a token on the blockchain network with a personnelle token isoler to identify the binaire asset, the creator’s wallet address, a link to the bohème binaire cabinet, and corresponding ownership details. Discussion history can be traced from the minting of the angle to the most recent ownership of the NFT; This événement is technically general. Non-fungible tokens do not generally carry a binaire work in themselves due to the désenveloppé gabarit of the underlying work; Instead, they mostly have links to the bohème work (photos, videos, audio, etc.). An NFT can be created for any work that can be digitized. They are listed and traded on the NFT platform and are governed by “pratique contracts”
Non-fungible tokens are personnelle and insécable and cannot be exchanged or exchanged for another token, such as a custom personnelle esthétique or a personnelle écrasée, while exchangeable assets are réversible, standardized, and sécable parce que each unit is identical in value, such as as a cryptocurrency or fiat currency.
Let’s allure at some of the legal issues and issues that are being brought up for litigation in other countries, and give a glimpse into upcoming legal disputes:
Shenzhen Qice Diechu Agraire Creativity Co., Ltd. Against Hangzhou Yuanyuzhou Technology Co., Ltd
In China, Shenzhen Qice Diechu Agraire Creativity Co., Ltd. raised. Lawsuit against Hangzhou Yuanyuzhou Technology Co., Ltd. , which operates a marketplace for an NFT company called Bigverse.
Shenzhen Qice Diechu is the copieuse holder of the animated series “Fat Tiger” created by Chinese artist Ma Qianli on Weibo. An NFT dissiper on the Bigverse minted the NFT of one of Qianli’s work, “Fat Tiger Inoculation” (a cartoon of a fat tiger receiving a immunisant), whose copieuse lives with Shenzhen Qice, and sold it for CNY899 on the Bigverse. NFT uses the same name and représentation as the bohème work. The bohème author was not notified of the same. The plaintiff then sued the defendant for the second infringement.
The sobre held that the defendant had committed a second infringement of rights by facilitating the cahier of the contested work. The defendant was instructed by the sobre to destroy the binaire work by sending it to an address inabordable to disconnect it from the blockchain and also ordered contrepartie.
The sobre affirmed the liability of the NFT platforms and stressed that the marketplaces should conduct a preliminary examination of ownership of the binaire work while the NFT is being minted and should not wait for annonce from the copieuse owner. Some kind of intellectual property review mechanism should be put in animation for this.
The platform directly benefited from the binaire work of NFT by charging accommodement fees and gratifications, and also had significant control over the binaire work. The platform should be aware that the copieuse ownership of the binaire work must be ensured so as not to infringe the rights.
This case relates to the courtier’s responsibility and the platform’s commitment. Markets will be responsible for the uploaded cabinet and will have a stricter duty of care than other online marketplaces. This is also a avertissement to the NFT market and owners of trademarks and copyrights to protect intellectual property rights.
Nike vs Stoke X
In another significant case, which could end up being dictated by intellectual property laws, Nike sued online retail platform StockX for trademark infringement by minting NFTs from Nike shoes and selling those NFTs by taking advantage of Nike’s goodwill in its Vault NFT group StockX. Nike has also claimed that these NFTs may exposé alliance given Nike’s propriété of RTFKT, a binaire art and creative studette ville. Later, Nike amended the complaint to add two more counterfeiting and advertising claims.
StockX is an online resale retailer. It connects buyers and sellers and has an authentication process that ensures that only bohème products can be resold, and this feature sets it apart from others. It uses multi-step authentication and ensures that the products traded are not counterfeit. The Vault Group launched the NFT, minting the NFT of products and associating the token with the physical items it offered to buyers. Buyers can trade NFT for a physical élément (shoe) in the bien of StockX. Nike StockX has been accused of misusing its trademark to promote Vault NFT.
StockX has invoked a discretionary fair use defense parce que it argues that its Vault NFT does not infringe any intellectual property rights parce que it uses NFTs to identify products, which is similar to binaire receipts. Not unlike e-commerce retailers who use product images and descriptions to sell physical goods that consumers see before they buy, there is no ambiguity emboîture the naissance and cabinet of the work.
This case raises new questions emboîture fair use and whether NFTs in the resale market would imply trademark infringements. This may threaten the legitimate use of the transformer’s brand and jauge the relationship between retailers and manufacturers. This case will have far-reaching implications for whether NFT in resale is trademark infringement.
Hermes Oecuménique vs Mason Rothschild
Another insolent case in the United States, is the case of Hermes Oecuménique. Hermes Oecuménique filed a complaint with binaire artist Mason Rothschild in federal sobre in the Southern Quartier of New York for an NFTs complément called MetaBirkins. MetaBirkins is a monceau of binaire images of Hermes Birkin bags, each picture depicting a Birkin bag covered in affecté fur.
Hermes denies trademark infringement, discrediting and misrepresenting the bags as if they were binaire licensed products of Hermes, which are likely to exposé alliance in the assistant mind as to the naissance of the work. The Rothschilds also derived economic benefits from the Hermes brand by selling and reselling NFTs.
Rothschild has argued in defense of fair use under the First Amendment and that trademark use is not enforceable parce que MetaBirkins is nothing but an artistic representation and commentary on benêt cruelty in the Hermes handbag manufacturing process. The defendant also asserted that there may be some general alliance but no outright misrepresentation.
The sobre determined that MetaBirkins was sufficiently and explicitly misleading. The sobre rejected the request to dismiss the Hermes case. Hermes has demonstrated enough actual alliance to mislead the assistant. The decision is largely influenced by the vendeur essence of the Rothschilds’ activities. Also, the sobre justificatifs that such NFTs would not qualify as artwork if they were attached to physically wearable products and would classify them as vendeur non-wearable products.
This case provides the first available insights into how courts will hear NFT-related trademark cases for images and virtual products. A conclusion needs to be struck between authenticity in creating binaire assets and the right to artistic structure as more NFTs will be launched in the future – some by the big brands themselves and some using the brands of luxury brands.
Miramax LLC vs. Tarantino
Micramax LLC, a exploitation company, sued Hollywood filmmaker Quentin Tarantino when he announced the ignominieux of NFTs based on his bohème handwritten scénario, with personal commentary, for the movie Pulp Allusion. NFT was supposed to be sold on one of the largest NFT platforms, OpenSea. Micramax has filed a claim for breach of contract, copieuse and trademark infringement. In renforcement of the allegations of copieuse infringement, Micramax alleged that the NFTs were unauthorized derivative works of Pulp Allusion and use of the trademark is likely to deceive people emboîture the naissance of the work and indicates that Micramax authorized the ignominieux of the NFTs.
Quentin Tarantino retained some rights, including the right to publish a screenplay, which allowed him to make books, picture books, and novels in both audio and electronic grosseur. Defendants argued that it was a fair use particularité and that NFT fell under the copyrighted cahier of the Pulp Allusion scénario.
NFTs were éloigné in terms of contract parce que they were not known at the time of contract signing. In this case, the primary terminaison is whether the scénario rights cover NFTs. For trademark claims, Micramax will need to demonstrate the alliance that the NFTs will create as to the naissance of the NFTs.
This terminaison would be more of a contractual chamaillerie, but a bigger problem would arise in cases where an unauthorized dissiper minted an NFT associated with another musician or dramatique maker without consent.
Some insolent points to mention emboîture NFTs are:
- Selling the NFT does not mean selling the rights to the binaire asset. Selling an NFT may only mean ownership of the NFT and nothing more. For example, an NFT ignominieux of a Fiche Dorsey tweet can be considered a signed certificate of the tweet, which does not include any other rights unless there is a contract to the contrary. Buyers need to pay précaution to exactly what they are buying; Otherwise, brebis and naive customers may be easily defrauded.
- Under Question 14 of the Copieuse Act 1957, only the owner has the right to reproduce and distribute the artwork. These rights are not assigned automatically; May be transferred by the copieuse owner with instantané written terms in the contract.
- A written contract with instantané terms of copieuse assignment is required under Question 19 of the Copieuse Act.
- NFT buyers should be careful emboîture who owns the underlying asset. An unauthorized person may attempt to mint an NFT without the owner’s adhésion and sell it on the NFT platform.
The caveats cannot be emphasized further in NFT transactions due to the lack of any legal framework. Users need to be aware of the basic risks. Foreign cases provide the first set of indicators of the bonshommes of cases that can be raised and how they will be evaluated by the courts. Rules should be established regarding the liability and responsibility of NFT platforms, rights and offices of creators and NFT holders, applicability with other laws, rights of the copieuse holder after ignominieux and first-time resale to avoid litigation and undue expense on persons.
Opinions are personal.