NFT and Intellectual Property Intersection: Licensing, Monitoring, Enforcement Strategies

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, May 20, 2021

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will guide IP counsel on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the intersection with IP. The panelist will discuss the current lay of the land and examine licensing considerations and strategies. The panelist will also discuss monitoring and offer best practices for addressing and overcoming infringement challenges.


Everything is being tokenized these days. A non-fungible token (NFT) represents ownership of a digital asset, which is recorded on a blockchain. The NFT market has exploded recently and has gotten record prices including $69 million for a piece of digital art. While NFTs have presented opportunities for IP owners, they have also resulted in potential problems.

NFTs create another avenue for IP owners to monetize their IP. NFTs can represent almost any real or intangible property, including music, virtual items in video games, collectibles, tweets, news articles or even real estate. Many brand owners are looking to cash in on this phenomena by licensing their IP for use in NFTs.

As brand owners venture into NFT creation or licensing and due to the unique issues with NFTs, IP owners should reexamine their strategies for both protecting and licensing their IP. They also need to be aware of some of the unique aspects of NFTs and blockchain technology to maximize revenue, protect their brand and avoid liability.

Listen as James G. Gatto, Blockchain & Fintech Team Leader at Sheppard Mullin, examines the intersection between NFTs and IP. The panel will discuss the current lay of the land for NFTs, examine licensing issues and strategies, and discuss liability avoidance. The panel will also discuss best practices for monitoring for and addressing infringement.



  1. Overview of NFTs and Current Trends
  2. The Intersection of NFTs and IP
    1. IP Protection Strategies for NFTs (Patents, Design Patents, Trademark, Copyright, Trade Dress)
    2. IP Infringement Monitoring and Enforcement Challenges and Strategies
  3. Licensing of IP for NFTs
    1. Key Issues
    2. Strategies
  4. Significance of Terms of Service and Other Legal Issues


The panelist will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the opportunities and risks associated with NFTs?
  • As the IP owner, what factors should be considered when determining whether to create an NFT?
  • What steps should IP owners and their counsel take if their IP has been infringed in an NFT?


Gatto, James
James G. Gatto

Blockchain & Fintech Team Leader
Sheppard Mullin

Mr. Gatto is Co-Leader of the firm's Digital Media Industry and Social Media and Games Industry Teams, and Leader...  |  Read More

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