Disclaimer: A version of this article was originally published on the IPilogue by IP Osgoode on April 11, 2022. Pankhuri Malik is an LLM Student at Osgoode Hall School of Law and an IPilogue Writer.
In the last two years, non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) have become the talk of the town in legal and non-legal sectors. The sudden popularity of NFTs is largely attributed to their significant sales prices. Reportedly, NFT sales average around $2billion per month, with one of the most expensive NFTs of 2021 being sold for $69 million. With this in mind, NFTs present a financial opportunity for creators on a global scale that hasn’t quite been seen before.
The rise in NFTs has been accompanied by several legal challenges. With lawsuits being recently filed in relation to MetaBirkin and Pepe the Frog NFTs this technology is opening the floor for discussion on breach of contract and intellectual property (“IP”) infringement issues in the digital art world. Since NFTs present a unique combination of art and technology, IP law is instrumental in the area, including trademark and copyright laws associated with the creation and trade of NFTs.
To hear from top professionals in the field, I attended the Global Online Thesis Topic Meetings (“GOTTMs”) hosted by Leiden University on April 5, 2022. Prof. Dirk Visser of Leiden University moderated this discussion on NFTs and IP, which featured three speakers—Richard Lehv, Alexandra Giannopoulou, and Andres Guadamuz—who discussed different aspects of NFTs through their individual presentations.