Faced with a high demand for applications including terms related to virtual goods and non-fungible tokens and in order to avoid increasing legal uncertainty, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has published guidelines showing the approach taken by the Office for the classification of virtual goods.

The Office has determined that virtual goods fall within Class 9 because NFTs are treated as unique digital certificates recorded on a blockchain, which authenticate digital items, but are distinct from those digital items.

Notwithstanding the above, the Office considers that the terms “virtual goods”/”non-fungible tokens” alone are not acceptable as they lack clarity and precision, and therefore, in order to be admissible, it is required to specify the type of digital good (e.g. downloadable virtual goods, namely virtual clothing).

Regarding services related to virtual goods and non-fungible tokens, these shall be classified according to the classification principles established for services.

Also, following the EUIPO’s criteria, on 13 October, the World Intellectual Property Organisation published the 12th edition of the Nice Classification which includes the term “non-fungible tokens” in class 9.