Over 1,200 non-fungible token (NFT)-related trademarks were registered in the U.S. in 2021, a 420-fold increase from the previous year, according to data acquired by Finbold.

Fast facts

  • More than 400 trademarks were filed in the month of December 2021 while none were filed in January 2021.
  • There were 450 filings in January 2022, a 550% growth over six months from August, as popularity and sales growth accelerated in recent months.
  • NFTs represent immutable ownership on the blockchain but that has not always prevented the unlawful minting of copyrighted material, leading brands and artists to trademark their NFTs to protect intellectual property.
  • Fashion brands such as Victoria’s Secret that offer digital versions of their clothes to adorn avatars in the metaverse have been some of the first to trademark their NFTs.
  • An ongoing legal dispute over leading NFT collection CryptoPunks between creator Larva Labs and holders of the collection over the authenticity of different versions of the series is expected to have a significant impact on the future of NFT copyrights.
  • The NFT industry has exploded in growth in the past year with US$4.4 billion in sales volume transacted last month — a near 8,000% increase from January 2021.