26 May 2022TrademarksMuireann Bolger

WIPR Trademarks Live: NFTs, China, portfolio management

How seriously you need to be taking the new non-fungible token (NFT) arena: is it a passing fad or a significant new threat?

That was a key question explored in the  Keynote fireside chat, “ NFTs: The rise and rise of the non-fungible token: What are the key considerations?” held during  WIPR Trademarks Live.

Kicking off yesterday, May 24, the two-day conference provides critical and timely insights from leading trademark practitioners from a wide range of industry sectors.

During the session on NFTs, Rick Farnell, CEO of Appdetex, and Marc Tractenberg, a shareholder in Greenberg  Traurig enjoyed a lively debate on the future of this new and exciting tech.

They also tackled what brands are doing in this fast-moving space, what threats the emergence of NFTs represent, and how brands can protect themselves.

“NFTs and its underlying technology is now seen everywhere. And no, this is not a fad. Just like the internet was not a fad. The important thing to focus on is really the overwhelming global consumer support for this new technology. And how it can provide for new ideas and new business models,” urged Farnell.

Chinese government subsidies

Also speaking at the conference, the US Patent and Trademark Office’s principal counsel and director for China IP, Michael Mangleson, explored the work of his team in the country.

“A lot of our messaging and programmes try to find ways to provide a very robust and effective IP system and a trademark system to protect the trademarks and allow brand owners to have an avenue to effectively protect and enforce those trademarks,” he noted.

One of the team’s key achievements was flagging the problematic issue of Chinese government subsidies in fuelling a spate of poor or bad faith trademark applications.

“We've been conducting extensive research on China's policies and their programmes that are designed to increase the number of China trademarks globally. And local municipalities in China, when they receive these mandates, often will incentivise these programmes through subsidies,” said Mangleson.

“This research that we've done has also shed a light on motivations behind the filings, which I think really can be summed up in one word, and that is ‘money’,” he said, adding that China was now seeing a reduction in subsidy programmes.

Brand portfolios

WIPR Trademarks Live, which is free to attend, also offers insights from Amazon, Siemens, Western Digital, Teva, the World Intellectual Property Organization, GoDaddy Corporate Domains and more.

You’ll also discover the latest brand protection challenges and learn how to maximise the value of your existing trademarks portfolio, as well as the likely impact of the US Trademark Modernization Act 2020.

To find out more, visit and register here.

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