Crypto and Blockchain Intellectual Property Lawyers
Cryptocurrency and the blockchain are rapidly transforming many sectors of the economy. While the public is mainly familiar with Bitcoin, blockchain technology is being applied in many fields, including finance, logistics, medicine, and publishing. Protecting intellectual property rights is now a growing concern for blockchain-related businesses. Intellectual property attorneys at Stanton IP Law Firm can help to clarify and resolve questions and disputes surrounding these issues.
IP For Blockchain Technology
Patent and trademark filings for blockchain-related businesses have surged over the last five years. It can be challenging to navigate the new and fast-growing world of the blockchain. IP for blockchain technology may include the following.
- Patents — Patents have traditionally been used to protect inventions and innovations. A cryptocurrency can be patented if it serves a useful function. The same is true for any blockchain technology. There are currently thousands of patents filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Companies that have filed blockchain-related patents include IBM, Toyota, Bank of America, and Capital One.
- Blockchain Copyrights and Trademarks — As with all types of businesses, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies have images and other branding that can be copyright or trademark protected. For example, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) can trademark the name of their product. Cryptocurrency intellectual property issues can also be protected. For example, Bitcoin is not patented but the Bitcoin name and logo are trademarked in the UK.
- Trade Secrets — Even if a process or product isn’t patented, it can be protected as a trade secret. Trade secrets such as a process, algorithm, or formula can be secured through non-disclosure agreements. Intellectual property attorneys proficient in blockchain should be consulted if such agreements are violated by employees or competitors.
Disputes Involving Blockchain Copyright
Because blockchain and cryptocurrencies are new and emerging technologies, intellectual property laws are still developing. Businesses that are using blockchain technology, working with cryptocurrencies, or developing NFTs (non-fungible tokens), should take steps to protect their intellectual property. Copyright disputes involving NFTs have been increasing over the last few years. The following are a few high profile examples.
- The film production company Miramax is suing director Quentin Tarantino over NFTs he created based on his movie Pulp Fiction. The conflict centers around who owns the rights to images from that film.
- Many NFTs are created using art obtained from copyrighted images. In some cases, the legal status of the source material is uncertain, as with a popular NFT collection called “Weird Whales.”
- A current debate regarding NFTS involves the practice of people “right clicking” to save NFT images online and possibly reposting them or even selling them elsewhere. While NFT owners claim this is copyright infringement, it can be difficult to enforce.
Intellectual Property Attorneys For Blockchain
Businesses involved in blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other emerging technology need to be aware of blockchain intellectual property protection. Stanton IP Law Firm is experienced with all facets of IP law, including:
- Trade Secrets
- Trademark Litigation
- IP Strategy
- IP Portfolio Management