A brief study by FiftyOne Ventures founder, Marc Baumann, delving into the NFT space over the past four years has recorded over 1,500 NFT-related patent applications, highlighting major brands’ involvement and intriguing trends in the Web3 realm.
The patents spotlight a spectrum of industries innovating their products through non-fungible collectibles, traversing the realms of gaming, finance, media, retail and more — highlighting the versatility of such digital assets in modern uses.
Leading Brands Dabbling in NFTs
Among these brands are numerous key players, with the top patent applications demonstrating an interest in NFT technology being the ever-so-famous Nike, eBay, Sony, Snap Inc., The Walt Disney Company, Meta, and beyond.
Nike showcased early dominance in the four-year analysis, frequently filing NFT-related patent applications to innovate its brand. In December 2021, the sportswear titan got a running start in the blockchain landscape, collaborating with respected NFT creators RTFKT, Takashi Murakami, and FaZe Clan to bridge the tangible and digital realms.
Alone, Nike and RTFKT’s NFT sneaker collection ‘RTFKT x Nike Dunk Genesis CRYPTOKICKS’ has a market cap of nearly $3 million (1,782 ETH), according to NFT Price Floor.
Following the success, Nike’s NFT patent reinforced the brand’s innovations, enabling utility, ownership, and trading of digital wearables. Now, the brand has its very own NFT marketplace .SWOOSH, continuously building a community presence online, engaging with creators, and enabling NFT enthusiasts to buy, trade, and unlock exclusive drops and community events.
Interestingly, however, many big brands filing NFT patents weren’t until more recent days. In 2022, the Bank of America, Snap Inc, and a few others joined the NFT phase. It wasn’t until this year, 2023, that more top brands joined the hype: Sony, Meta, eBay, the Walt Disney Club, and Samsung Electronics, among others — many of which chose the same month, March, to file their patents.
Notably, one of the most recent trailblazing applications, filed this August, was Mercedes-Benz’s ‘Method for Minting and Using Vehicle-Related Non-Fungible Tokens, and Information Technology System.’ Following this, just weeks ago, the automaker launched its revolutionary new car model ‘CLA Concept‘, equipped with an in-car NFT gallery.
Debunking Patent Controversies and Boosting Brands
NFT patents offer a captivating merger of the digital collectible domain with intellectual property, opening a multitude of unique benefits. One standout perk is proof of authenticity — inventors can present evidence that their creations are original, reducing controversies over patent claims.
Moreover, as the world of digital assets expands, the prospect of tokenizing patents as NFTs opens monetization opportunities yet to be explored. Patent holders become inventors through digital marketplaces, creating new avenues for innovation funding and revenue generation pioneering a novel ecosystem for investors and innovators alike.
With a notable peak of NFT patents being observed in March 2023, Marc Baumann’s study suggests that the NFT world is dynamic and evolving, with more flashes of blockchain-based innovation underway regardless of the market currently being calm.
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