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Are Virtual Goods Still Goods for Trademark Purposes?

MSK Client Alert
May 4, 2023

In Yuga Labs, Inc. v. Ripps, et al, No. 2:22-CV-04355  (C. D. Cal. Apr. 21, 2023), Judge John F. Walter explored the use of trademarks in the world of non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”), which are tokenized assets that have been recorded on a blockchain. As intellectual property disputes continue to arise in the world of NFTs, the key issues that the court in Yuga Labs considered involved the scope of trademark protection for NFTs – including whether NFTs are “goods” for purposes of the Lanham Act; to what extent the sale of an NFT transfers ownership rights in its associated trademarks; and whether and to what extent the First Amendment and the test set forth in Rogers v. Grimaldi is a defense to the use of trademarks for NFTs.

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