What steps should I take if my IP asset is used without permission in an NFT?

If you discover that your intellectual property (IP) has been used without your consent in an NFT, acting promptly to protect your rights is essential. Here's a recommended course of action:

  1. Document Everything: Begin by collecting evidence of unauthorized use. This can include taking screenshots of the NFT listing, its description, and other relevant details showcasing the infringement.
  2. Report to the Marketplace: Most NFT marketplaces have mechanisms in place to address IP violations. Report the infringement to the platform where the NFT is being sold, providing them with the evidence you've collected. IOGINALITY hosts its own Conciliation Centre. It ensures that all the disputes and controversies that may arise between the Users and IOGINALITY, as well as between the Users themselves, are resolved swiftly, efficiently and within the IOGINALITY's ecosystem.
  3. Stay Updated on Legal Precedents: The world of NFTs is still relatively new, but legal systems are catching up. For instance, in a recent case, Hermès International took legal action against digital artist Mason Rothschild over the "MetaBirkin" NFT collection. The New York Federal District Court ruled in favor of Hermès, setting a precedent for future cases (Hermès Int’l v. Rothschild, No. 22-cv-384 (JSR)).
  4. Seek Legal Counsel: If the infringement persists or if you believe you have a strong case, consider consulting with an attorney who specializes in intellectual property rights. They can guide you on the best course of action, which might include sending a cease and desist letter or pursuing legal action.

Remember that the claim is typically filed at the infringer’s place of residence. First, you should address the issue with the platform selling the NFT; if that avenue proves ineffective, further steps such as private arbitration or legal action in the defendant's jurisdiction may be pursued. This layered approach ensures that your efforts to safeguard your IP rights are thorough and well-directed.

Protecting your IP in the digital realm is crucial. By being vigilant and proactive, you can ensure that your rights are upheld in the burgeoning world of NFTs.