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NFTs and Virtual Patent Marking

Patent marking is an important step in the patent lifecycle as it is generally required to seek damages from infringers prior to the date the suit is filed. While virtual marking has somewhat reduced the overhead of marking, it suffers from the same problems all Internet-based evidence runs into in court: websites are ephemeral and have intermittent accessibility, as well as poor public logging of when information existed where, and for how long. NFTs on a digital blockchain could potentially overcome these hurdles, while still providing the benefits of virtual marking via websites.

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Patent marking is an important step in the patent lifecycle. Setting aside inventions covered by method claims, patent marking is generally required to seek damages from infringers prior to the date the suit is filed; however, complex patenting portfolios make marking all patented products an intense act of bookkeeping. While virtual marking has somewhat reduced the overhead of marking, it suffers from the same problems all Internet-based evidence runs into in court: websites are ephemeral and have intermittent accessibility, as well as poor public logging of when information existed where, and for how long. Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) on a digital blockchain could potentially overcome these hurdles, while still providing the benefits of virtual marking via websites.

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