Matthew Frankle in Bloomberg Law: 'The Trendy, Hot NFT Market Has a New Entrant: Patents'

May 11, 2021
Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Matthew Frankle talked with Bloomberg Law about building a simple, yet effective, contract to allow the firm’s client to be one of the first to auction their patent as a non-fungible token (NFT).

Below is an excerpt:

Fonss and his consulting company, True Return Systems LLC, are auctioning U.S. Patent No. 10,025,797 on the NFT marketplace OpenSea. Bidding for the patent, believed to be the first to be auctioned as a non-fungible token, starts at around $7.5 million.

NFTs are a trendy new digital sensation, but Fonss and others see real benefits for the digital token technology in the patent space.

Built into the NFT representing Fonss’ patent is a self-executing contract. When someone buys the NFT, they get all rights in the patent, including the right to sue for infringement.

Fonss said the automated contract simplifies what otherwise would have been a “lengthy and cumbersome process” that can involve a clunky exchange of documents and a series of back-and-forths.

“We built a very simple contract to be able to transfer those rights over,” said Matthew Frankle, a Haynes and Boone, LLP attorney helping True Return with the sale.

“We’re thinking that’s probably the way things are moving in the future,” Frankle added, “so we wanted to get ahead of it.”

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