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EUIPO Updates Guidelines on Classification of NFTs and Virtual Goods in Trademark Applications

To address the recent trend of increasing trademark applications containing terms related to virtual goods and NFTs (non-fungible tokens), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”) has issued guidance on classification of virtual goods and NFTs, to clarify the approach it intends to take in the registration of these types of trademark applications.
According to the EUIPO, since virtual products and NFTs are considered as digital content or images, they both fall under Class 9 in the Nice Classification. It further defined NFTs as unique digital certificates registered in a blockchain which have the purpose of authenticating digital items, but noted that they should be distinct from the underlying digital items.
Hence, the terms "virtual goods" and "non-fungible tokens" are not acceptable on their own, and need to be further specified, for example, in the case of virtual goods, by stating the underlying asset to which the goods relate (e.g. downloadable virtual goods, namely, virtual clothing) and for NFTs, by the type of digital item authenticated by the NFT. In light of this, the 12th edition of the Nice Classification, to be issued in 2023, will include the specific wording of "downloadable digital files authenticated by non-fungible tokens” in Class 9 for the reference of the EUIPO system users.
Date:2022-08-15Return to List
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