Non-fungible assets (NFTs) are basically digital copies of highly valued original work that exists on a blockchain. For encoding, software similar to many cryptos is used, and all the buying and selling happens online.

The authenticity of all such assets is verifiable online since most of the buying happens through cryptocurrency or in dollars, all of which are recorded as a part of transactional records. While anyone can view the NFTs, the buyer has the status of being the official owner – which gives her digital bragging rights.

NFTs indicate ownership of one-of-a-kind goods such as art, collectibles, and even real estate. They can only have one official owner at a time and are protected by the Ethereum blockchain — no one can change the record of ownership or create a new NFT. NFTs are thus digital assets that may be purchased and traded but have no physical form of their own/Trademark registration lawyers in India.

NFTs in India

Cricketers from India were the first public personalities to be involved in NFTs. Rario is an NFT platform that launched a cricket-based digital collectibles platform in August 2021, in collaboration with the former ace of bowling from the Indian men’s cricket team, Zaheer Khan. Rishabh Pant, a cricketer, has also joined Rario. Pant’s partnership will enable Rario to create special digital artifacts of Pant’s historic moments on and off the field. Dinesh Karthik, a cricketer, is auctioning off a digital art reel from a match in which he scored a match-winning six on the last ball for roughly 5 Ethereums.

More recently, world-renowned actor Mr. Amitabh Bachchan launched an NFT of his own with Beyond Life. He set up for auction, autographed posters of his movies. The bidding process is due to begin in the first week of November, and interested buyers may be able to log in with credit or debit cards. Mr. Bachchan has made a provision for his ‘unique work’ to be sold later at a higher price should the winning bidder desire to do so. Mr. Salman Khan also seems to have hopped on board, whereby he informed his followers on Twitter about ‘Salman Khan Static NFTs’ coming on BollyCoin, which is an NFT marketplace that will auction the movie film industry’s digital artworks to enthusiasts from next month/best Design registration lawyers in India.

NFTs have only been traded in cryptocurrencies around the world, and in India too, all platforms that have launched trading in NFTs to date are cryptocurrency exchanges. Unfortunately, there is currently little clarity regarding the legal status of cryptocurrencies in the country, making trading in NFTs hazardous. In India, there is no separate legal structure for NFTs. Using existing FEMA laws, crypto-assets and NFTs might be considered intangible assets under FEMA, similar to software and intellectual property. However, establishing the location of an NFT remains a mystery.

Blockchains are worldwide ledgers, and the Supreme Court has stated that cryptocurrency assets cannot be held anywhere. Because there is no specific legal structure in India for NFTs, there is some misunderstanding over how to classify them. Some consider NFTs to contract, while others consider them to be derivatives. If the latter is correct, it would imply a restriction on trading in NFTs in India.

NFTs and Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is all about exclusive rights and monopolies, hence it comes as no surprise that some immediately believe there is a connection between NFTs and intellectual property. It must be, however, understood that NFTs do not automatically come with intellectual property rights to anything/PCT filing in India.

To receive ownership of the intellectual property for the videos or photos – as opposed to just the piece of digital code verifying ownership of a copy – one would have to get that assigned from the copyright owner. The value of a piece of code matching automobile memorabilia isn’t very high. However, for some, such verified code is desired because it is one-of-a-kind and exclusive.