NFTs: Trademark Applications & Online Enforcement Insights

  • Brand Protection
  • Content Protection
  • Trademark Clearance
NFTs: Trademark Applications & Online Enforcement Insights

Securing IP rights

As of September 2022, there have been more than 23,000 trademark filings across the globe that include NFTs or non-fungible tokens in their description. The USPTO received most of the applications covering 37% of all the requests for a trademark registration covering NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). KIPO and EUIPO followed the US lead, respectively with 10% and 9% of applications, respectively. United Kingdom IPO (7%) and Canada CIPO (4%) close the top five registries. The remaining applications (33%) were filed with other offices.

Only a fraction of the applications have been successful. As of writing, only about 3,000 trademarks have been granted. More than 88% of the filings are still pending before the IP offices, and around 1% were rejected.

Although the US has been the most sought jurisdiction in number of applications, it is the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office the office that has granted the highest number of registrations for NFTs.

Four of the top ten trademark holders are companies active in the Fashion industry, while three are Digital Media companies. The other filers are in the Entertainment business, and one company belongs to the Consumer Goods industry.

Around two thirds of applications covered classes 9, 35, 36, 41 and 42, while 30% covered also other classes. In September 2022, we analyzed the top five offices (indicated in figure 1. – appendix) and narrowed down our dataset to 462 applications. The vast majority (93%) of the applications were approved and registered in class 9;[1] 74% also in class 35; and 63% in class 41 as well.

Online enforcement insights

Figure 4. (appendix) shows the industries which, as of September 2022, are monitoring and enforcing against infringing NFT listings with Corsearch[1]. A total of 10 industries are represented. The four main industries are fashion (38%), consumer goods (17%), sports (10%) and entertainment (10%).

Most takedown requests sent on behalf of our clients are targeting trademark infringing content and are therefore based on trademark rights. A relatively small number of clients (10%) are enforcing using other IPRs such as copyrights.

In detail, 86% of our clients are enforcing trademarks registered in class 9 or 35. Only a few clients are using “well-known” trademarks registered in other classes.

Corsearch reports and successfully enforces more than 14,000 listings every month for its clients. The top 3 industries in terms of enforced content are:

  • Consumer goods (24%)
  • Automotive (23%)
  • Fashion (21%)

The average success rate varies per industry and platform (between 95% and 100%). Opensea, the largest digital marketplace for crypto collectibles and non-fungible tokens, is the first platform in terms of removed content volume, followed by Rarible and Mintable.

How Corsearch can help with NFTs

Corsearch presents comprehensive landscape reports to evaluate the level of exposure of brands and organizations within the Web3 space. Our Web3 and NFT projects comprise monitoring and enforcement activities.

With years of online enforcement experience and strong relationships formed with major NFT marketplaces, Corsearch has developed a proactive and strategic approach to take down infringing NFTs.

We have recently unveiled capability within our brand protection platforms that supports leading NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea, Rarible, Mintable, Super Rare, and Foundation. This means brands can now detect, enforce, and report on infringing NFTs within a connected workspace.

The NFT, crypto, and Web3 space is evolving at a very fast pace, but we remain several steps ahead. Speak to one of our experts to learn about Corsearch’s Trademark Clearance and Brand Protection solutions for NFTs.

Talk to an NFT Expert >


Figure 1. Percentage of applications top 5 registries and others

Figure 2. Registered marks per registry – top 5

Figure 3. Applied trademarks – classes

Figure 4. Enforcement by industry

Figure 5. Enforcement – reported listings

References and footnotes

[1] Class 9 is the most covered class by applicants, which is in line with most recent guidelines published by some IP offices.

[2] Blockchain domains are also included in the above statistics. Corsearch successfully obtained removals of such content offers on NFTs marketplaces for our clients.