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Tokenization of IP: Impact on the IP Market, Benefits and Risks, Regulation of Transfers Involving IP Rights

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, June 8, 2023

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will guide IP counsel on the tokenization of IP. The panel will discuss the advantages of tokenization as well as how it disrupts the IP market. The panel will also address the hurdles that IP owners must address and the current state of regulation on the transfer of NFTs involving IP rights.


An NFT represents ownership of a digital asset, which is recorded on a blockchain. NFTs are being used to monetize IP rights. Further, as IP owners assert their rights, they can leverage tokenization of IP rights to prove ownership of those rights.

Tokenization of IP rights may reduce licensing transaction costs by limiting the need for negotiated agreements. The use of smart contracts and take-it or leave-it terms remove friction from these transactions. However, in some cases this may result in fewer completed transactions.

When engaging in tokenized transactions, IP owners should keep in mind the potential risks and challenges. There are unique requirements that come into play with IP transfers and creation of NFTs. Trademark licenses may trigger franchise laws. Copyright licenses and assignments must have the assignor's signature in writing, which presents a problem for tokenization using smart contracts. There are open questions regarding whether certain NFTs may be considered investment contracts under the Howey test, how states will ultimately regulate NFTs, how different legal regimes may interact for cross-border transfers, and how NFTs can be effectively used as security interests.

Listen as our authoritative panel of IP attorneys examines tokenization of IP and the advantages and tools it provides. The panel will also discuss how tokenization disrupts the IP market and the hurdles that IP owners must address. The panel will also discuss the current state of regulation on the transfer of NFTs involving IP rights.



  1. Tokenization of IP
    1. Advantages
    2. Inherent NFT opportunities
  2. Potential disruption of the IP licensing market
  3. Hurdles for IP owners
    1. Securities laws
    2. Uncertain state regulation
    3. Cross-border transactions
    4. Regulation of IP transfers
  4. How the UCC can increase the value of IP-backed NFTs
  5. Moving forward today


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the opportunities and risks associated with NFTs?
  • What unique legal requirements of IP transfers should owners consider when creating NFTs?
  • What key considerations should IP owners and counsel weigh when determining whether to tokenize IP rights?


Coffman, Andrew W.
Andrew W. Coffman

Phelps Dunbar

Mr. Coffman helps individuals and businesses protect their intellectual property and guides professionals in highly...  |  Read More

Patty, Drew
Drew Patty

Phelps Dunbar

Mr. Patty balances his legal advice with commercial solutions to help clients in the medical, energy, insurance,...  |  Read More

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